House passes package cracking down on regulations

Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark. sponsored one of several anti-regulation bills. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark. sponsored one of several anti-regulation bills. Danny Johnston/AP
The House on Thursday passed a package of Republican-backed anti-regulation bills, including one from Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., that would prevent any federal agency from issuing a new regulation until the national unemployment rate drops to 6 percent.

The vote was 245-172, with 13 Democrats voting in favor and two Republicans voting against. The White House issued a veto threat earlier in the week, and the bill appears unlikely to get far in the Senate.

“The Obama administration has issued some 106 rules in its first three years that collectively will cost taxpayers more than $46 billion annually in compliance and lost productivity,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. “This is four times the number of major regulations and five times the cost of rules issued in the prior administration’s first three years.”

The bill was opposed by a coalition of environmental, science, health, consumer and union groups. “This broadside attack on regulations is the latest in a series of legislative proposals designed to mislead the public into believing that our country’s long-established system of health and safety protections must be dismantled to encourage job growth,” said Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate with Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Public and private experts, business owners and a majority of economists have repeatedly stated that the U.S. regulatory system is good for business and does not impede job growth.”

Susan Eckerly, senior vice president for federal public policy at the National Federation of Independent Business, said, “as the economy continues to sputter, it is important to ensure that the nation’s biggest job creators are not strapped with punishing new rules. Research by the NFIB, as well as the federal government, shows that the cost of complying with federal rules is a huge burden and a top concern for small businesses. These job creators desperately need the help of Congress to cut red tape.”

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