Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) voted against Republican legislation that would block common-sense safeguards, posing a great risk to the American people. The "Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny" Act, (H.R. 10) would stop any major regulation issued by a federal agency, such as those implementing food safety protections, from taking effect unless it receives approval by both chambers of Congress and the president, creating substantial delays that could ultimately harm the public.
"Congress should be focused on creating jobs, not voting to gut the very laws that protect the American people," said Rep. Crowley. "The clock is ticking and with only a few weeks left before the end of the year, the Republican majority's agenda should be focused on fixing the real problems we are facing. It's time to stop wasting time and get to work on extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance."
This damaging Republican bill strips away federal agencies' authority to create rules that protect American consumers from tainted food, dangerous products, deceptive financial services products and other dangers. Instead, any major rule with an impact of $100 million on the economy -- an estimated 50 to 100 per year -- would require Congressional approval before they take effect, putting a chokehold on what should be a timely process and undermining a federal agency's ability to protect consumer health and safety. Additionally, the extra time Congress would have to devote to double-checking federal agencies' work would divert resources from the pressing issues that actually do require Congressional action, such as passing appropriations bills to fund the government.
"From pulling dangerous drop-side cribs off the shelves to ensuring the safety of the water we drink or the food we eat, safeguards that protect our children and keep us healthy must continue to be enforced," said Rep. Crowley, who, along with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), successfully worked with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban the sale and resale of drop-side cribs -- a rule that would have been subject to additional delays or blocked altogether under this bill.
This Republican legislation is also unnecessary as Congress already has oversight over the federal agency rulemaking process. In addition, the Republican bill undermines our democratic system of checks and balances by limiting the executive branch's ability to carry out the laws passed by the legislative branch.
"Not only does this bill put at risk the health and safety of the American people, it is also one of the most undemocratic pieces of legislation we've seen from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle thus far," said Rep. Crowley. "The American people deserve better."
Congressman Crowley is the seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as a Chief Deputy Whip in the House of Representatives.