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Mr. ROSS of Florida. I thank the chairman for this opportunity.
Madam Speaker, today I rise in strong support of House Resolution 72. Now more than ever, regulatory reform is needed. Agencies have expanded their authority to levels far beyond what was ever intended, in circumvention of the legislative process.
At a time of record unemployment, the last thing businesses, and in particular, our small businesses, need are burdensome regulations and added compliance costs. Why would we make it harder for our job creators to expand and grow? Shouldn't we create an environment that fosters prosperity, innovation, and global marketplace competitiveness?
For example, in my home State of Florida, we have what's known as Numeric Nutrient Water Criteria that is being thrust upon us by EPA, a regulatory law that is supported by nothing but junk science, not accepted principles of science. And yet what it's going to do is cost my citrus industry $325 million in initial compliance costs. It is going to cost my agricultural industry anywhere from $855 million to $3 billion in initial costs, with an annual impact of $1.1 billion to Florida's overall economy and over 14,000 jobs lost. Those jobs, lost in an economy like this. In Florida, water is our livelihood. We can regulate our own control of water. We believe in clean water. But we need to have a voice in what is happening to us with these regulatory controls.
Is it fair for an unelected regulatory agency like the EPA to have unchecked rulemaking authority and prevent Florida's job creators from employing hardworking citizens in need of jobs? We are regulating jobs out of existence. Would those who promote more regulatory control not be satisfied until we have choked the last breath out of our American economy and our American job market because of too much regulatory control?
Massive oversight is needed, and I applaud congressional efforts to reform the current out-of-control regulatory process. The REINS Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act reforms are necessary. They will provide transparency to a rulemaking process and give businesses, large and small, proper due process in agency decisions that greatly affect them. They are the important first steps that will allow businesses the ability to grow, our citizens to work, and our economy to flourish.
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