|For Immediate Release
October 25, 2011
Contact: Kim Smith Hicks, 202-225-3951t
Statement of Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith
Full Committee Markup of
H.R. 10, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011 (REINS Act)
Chairman Smith: The American people today have been hit by an onslaught of unnecessary federal regulations. From the Obama Administration’s health care mandate to increasing burdens on small businesses, government regulation has become a barrier to economic growth and job creation. As of 2008, federal regulations cost our economy $1.75 trillion each year. And the Administration seeks to add billions more.
By its own admission, the Administration is preparing numerous regulations that each will cost the economy $1 billion or more per year. Its 2011 regulatory agenda calls for over 200 economically significant rules, which typically affect the economy by $100 million or more each year.
These regulations go far beyond protecting the health and safety of Americans.
Employers, the people who create jobs and pay taxes, are rightly concerned about the costs these regulations will impose on their businesses. So they stop hiring, stop spending and start saving for a bill from Big Brother.
Rather than restrain its efforts to expand government, the Administration now seeks to accomplish through regulatory agencies what it cannot get approved by Congress.
For example, the President’s former director of the Office of Management and Budget – the White House office that presides over new federal regulation – recently said, "we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies. . . . We might be a healthier democracy if we were a slightly less democratic one."
That anti-democratic virus has infected many of the Administration’s policies. From unjustified regulations to a government takeover of major companies to criticism of private sector profits, the Administration seems at war with the free enterprise system.
The REINS Act is an urgently needed antidote to this anti-democratic sentiment. It gives the people’s representatives in Congress the final say on whether Washington will impose major new regulations on the American economy – not unaccountable agency officials.
More than once this year, the President himself has talked about the dangers that excessive regulations pose to our economy. He has called for reviews of existing regulations. He has professed a commitment to more transparency. The President has stated that “it is extremely important to minimize regulatory burdens and avoid unjustified regulatory costs.”
These are words that need to be followed by action. A five-percent reduction in Washington’s regulatory budget will increase employment by 1.2 million jobs annually, according to the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies.
So far, the Obama Administration has proposed four times the number of major regulations than the previous administration, over a similar time period.
The White House has admitted to Congress that for most new major rules issued in 2010, the government failed to analyze both the costs and the benefits.
It is time for Congress to take action to reverse these harmful policies.