Today, House Judiciary Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) challenged the Republican House’s decision to spend ten hours of floor time and federal tax resources debating a function Congress already performs in overseeing regulations.
During today's floor debate, Republicans claimed that legislation passed by Democrats in the 111th Congress impeded job growth. However, according to findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics just a few weeks ago, 1.1. million private sector jobs have been created since health care reform was enacted. Moreover, 207,000 jobs in the health care industry have been created since the enactment of health care reform. By contrast, under President Bush, 673,000 private sector jobs were lost.
“This resolution we are discussing today directs certain committees to conduct oversight – a function they already perform, and have been performing for as long as I have been in Congress,” said Conyers. “Instead of spending our time discussing what we already do, we should be working in our committees to develop and consider meaningful legislation that helps American families stay in their homes, secure good paying jobs, and pay their bills.
“I also challenge the myth that regulations ‘destroy jobs and waste taxpayers’ money.’ Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, the benefits of regulations consistently exceed the costs, and regulations have been shown to create jobs. The president’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) found under both the Bush administration and the Obama administration that the major rules issued by executive branch agencies have produced net benefits -of at least $73 billion over a ten year period – to our economy.
“Given that regulations yield significantly greater benefits than they cost, the effort that my colleagues across the aisle have been spending on the effort to impede regulations, or make their issuance more difficult – efforts like the destructive REINS Act, H.R. 10, that has been introduced in Congress – should make us extremely concerned, especially in these troubling economic times.
“I would also like to debunk the myth that some of my colleagues across the aisle have been making, claiming that health care reform law has destroyed jobs.
“Let’s stop perpetuating dangerous myths, and get back to the work we were elected to do: the work of creating jobs and making life more decent and just for the American people.”