Press Releases

Conyers: Witnesses Came Only to Promote Pro-Industry Interests Without Any Knowledge of Pending Legislation

Washington, DC, March 31, 2011

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement on his take of yesterday’s hearing on “Raising the Agencies’ Grades – Protecting the Economy, Assuring Regulatory Quality and Improving Assessments of Regulatory Need.”

“The Republicans’ witnesses could not disguise the fact that their call for hamstringing federal agencies stemmed from a blatant conflict of interest,” said Conyers.  “These witnesses were both from the Mercatus Center, an anti-regulatory think tank founded and funded by Charles and David Koch,who own the second largest privately held company in the Nation and have a long history of conflicts with the Environmental Protection Agency over their company’s violations of environmental regulations.  Other donors to Mercatus includecompanies with long records of pushing for deregulation, such as BP Amoco, Exxon Mobil Corporation, General Motors, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, and State Farm Insurance Company.”

“These witnesses had the temerity to ask Congress to change the regulatory system based solely on their own subjective views of the quality of federal agency rulemaking, views no doubt shaped by their corporate benefactors.  But they only further undermined their own credibility when they revealed their ignorance about H.R. 10, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act and other regulatory bills pending before Congress.”

“House Republicans should stop wasting time trying to base public policy on corporate propaganda and instead focus on creating jobs, stymieing home foreclosures, and ensuring through effective regulation the safety of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the products we buy, and the places we work.”