House Republicans Push Bill to Stop Most Regulations

Friday, March 23, 2012
(graphic: Jonathan Schmock)
Republicans in the U.S. House are pushing legislation that would freeze new regulations and hamper the changing of existing ones, all in the name of helping small businesses grow.
But critics contend that the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act represents an overreaction to the sluggish economy and would do more harm than good.
H.R. 4078 would halt all “significant regulatory actions” until the national unemployment rate falls below 6%—a threshold the nation may not cross for another five years, economists say. The “freeze” would apply to any regulation that would be expected to have a national economic impact of $100 million or more per year. However, how this figure would be legally determined is unclear.
Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) warned of the bill’s dangerous implications:
“All this nonsense about deregulation is saying, ‘Let’s make this country less safe. Let’s kill more people in accidents, let’s kill more people with air pollution, let’s have more people burn up in exploding cars, let’s have more people poisoned by uninspected food all in the name of making life more lucrative for big business, but with the excuse of jobs.’”
In written testimony submitted to the House Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law, Committee on Judiciary, Public Citizen president Robert Weissman, after pointing that it was lack of regulation that led to the current financial crisis, highlighted some of the wide range of government activities that would be disrupted by the Regulatory Freeze Act. These include bird hunting, stop loss pay for soldiers who are forced to spend prolonged tours in war areas, pharmaceutical approval standards, Medicare reimbursement payments and compensation for veterans affected by Agent Orange.
The bill cleared the Subcommittee on a 15-13 straight party vote
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Written Testimony of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen (House Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law, Committee on Judiciary) (pdf)
House Committee Votes to Freeze Regulations (by Ryan Abbott, Courthouse News Service)

Cartoons by Jonathan Schmock 


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