Over the last few weeks I have been holding telephone town hall meetings with constituents across the 6th Congressional District. These telephone town hall meetings are a great way for me to speak directly to the residents of the 6th District and to gather their thoughts and opinions on the important issues of the day. As my constituents continue to express frustration over the stagnant economy, they have been particularly concerned about the excessive mandates and costly regulations that are being forced upon our citizens from the federal government.
So far this year, over 67,000 pages of regulations have been published in the Federal Register. This mountain of regulations includes intrusions from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). While some regulations are needed most are just a major drag on our economy. Reports indicate that complying with government red tape costs small businesses with fewer than 20 employees an average of $10,585 per employee every year. When small business owners and entrepreneurs have to divert precious resources to manage costly new mandates that are coming down from Washington they have fewer resources available to grow their business or create jobs.
Concern over the impact of these excessive regulations is precisely why the House Agriculture Committee recently held a hearing to examine the costly Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) mandate from the EPA and its affect on local communities.
The EPA's TMDL sets the limit on the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment discharged into the Chesapeake Bay and each of its tributaries by different types of sources. During the hearing, staff from the EPA testified that the Obama Administration doesn't consider the TMDL a regulation but was later forced to admit that the majority of the requirements set by the TMDL are in fact mandatory. I think most everyone would agree that a mandatory set of requirements handed down from the federal government that will cost states, localities, farms and businesses large and small tens of billions of dollars meets the very definition of a regulation.
These overzealous regulations will affect everyone who lives, works, and farms in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and the cost of complying with these requirements will be devastating during our current economic downturn.
One of my top priorities since arriving in Congress has been to fight against costly government regulations. I understand that complying with government regulations may force up the price of goods or services so that consumers are not able to afford them and employers are unable to grow their businesses. As your Congressman, I will continue to fight against all unnecessary regulations. If we are to grow our economy and get more Americans back to work, Washington must get out of the way.