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Archive for Saturday, December 3, 2011

House Republicans pass bill curbing regulation

December 3, 2011

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— In an ambitious gesture to their business allies, House Republicans passed legislation Friday to reduce what the GOP calls “an avalanche” of unneeded, costly regulations. Opponents call the bill an attempt to prevent the government from protecting Americans at their workplaces, in their homes and when they want a breath of fresh air.

The 253-167 vote sent the bill to the Democratic-run Senate, where it’s likely to die. Just in case, the White House has issued a veto threat.

Republicans insist the mostly technical legislation would simply force federal agencies to follow presidential directives that have often been ignored — including seeking with the lowest cost. The objective, the GOP says, is to allow companies to use their money to hire workers.

But Democrats, the White House, and government watchdog groups insist the aim is to get rid of aggressive rules approved by the Obama administration — regulations that businesses complain about constantly.

“America faces an avalanche of unnecessary federal regulatory costs,” Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, said during House debate. “Yet the Obama administration seeks to add billions more to that cost.”

Democratic Rep. George Miller of California denounced the bill, saying the U.S. has spent great time and effort “to ensure when workers go to work every day, they will return safely to their home.”

“This legislation begins to bring that to an end because it would needlessly and recklessly expose our workers to injuries,” said Miller, the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

At this point, the fight over this and other anti-regulation bills approved by the GOP-led House is mainly a 2012 campaign issue, since they have little chance in the Democratic-run Senate.

The GOP effort is not finished. Next week, the House is expected to pass a bill that would make it easier for Congress to kill proposed rules.

Republicans agree the bill passed Friday would have a major impact on regulators but argue that’s because it’s not difficult for agencies to ignore presidential directives that don’t have the force of law. Supporters and opponents agree on the major impact, but not much else.

• The opponents insist the bill would require agencies to consider any suggestions by interested parties, allowing opponents to dial up their lobbyists to keep offering changes and delaying a proposed rule. Republicans disagree, saying there’s no change in the 60-day comment period for minor regulations and 120 days for major rules projected to cost at least $100 million.

• The bill would require an earlier analysis of costs and benefits, a provision that opponents argue would lead to misinformation that could cause delays. Republicans counter that agencies now misuse the analysis to justify the decisions they already made.

• Opponents object to additional proceedings for rules with a projected cost of more than $1 billion. Republicans argue there are only seven such regulations pending, including a now-delayed rule on boiler emissions. They said the hearing could be scheduled quickly and would not have to delay the final action.

Until now, Republicans have focused on derailing specific rules and regulations from the Obama administration, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency. The latest effort, and the next bill giving Congress greater control over regulations, would cover the entire federal government.

Comments

Richard Heckler 3 years ago

Deregulation brought the economy down twice. Once under Reagan/Bush and once under Bush/Cheney.

Is anyone concerned about Food inspections? Do we have enough inspectors?

Humans by their actions bring on the need for regulations by way of lack of discipline and disregard for laws and placing bigger profit over ethical behavior.

The majority of lawmakers are the last people we need to be looking at for leadership and ethical regulations. Look at what a mockery they have made of our election system.

Let's clean up government by way of REMOVING special interest campaign dollars from the entire process:

commuter 3 years ago

I am concerned that the federal government would regulate the lawn mowing industry> How about that Merrill, should the govt. regulate the lawn mowing industry??? Why not?

Richard Heckler 3 years ago

The trouble with elected officials they go to the CEO"s of any industry and developers for advice!!!! too often!!!! Then the elected officials walk away still uninformed.

One answer to our political problems : CUT OFF special interest financing of elections! YES even at the local level.

Our government is always claiming the USA is about democracy. In that case allow the citizens to practice democracy by allowing citizens to vote on these issues in 2012:

Let's demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : http://www.fairvote.org/irv/ Demand a change on the next ballot.

Let's have public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue. http://www.publicampaign.org/

Bribery of elected officials and bribed officials = the most stinky of all bribery!

Armstrong 3 years ago

So let me get this straight. Deregulation is a bad thing because business willl screw the public in numerous ways therfore regulation is needed to protect the public. Does that sound about right ?

If memory serves me correctly I was reading a few months ago about how up in arms everyone was about abortion clinics being regulated. Didn't see anyone crying about the consumer being taken advantage of or at risk.

So which is it good or bad or does regulation just apply to ?????

Corey Williams 3 years ago

Why is regulation a bad thing to republicans, except when it comes to abortion?

jhawkinsf 3 years ago

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that both sides of the political divide would have inconsistencies. Shocked!

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