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Mr. DUNCAN of Tennessee. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of this bill, and I thank the gentleman from Texas, Chairman Smith, for yielding me this time and I commend both him and the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Davis) for bringing this bill to the floor to us at this time.
Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in his speech to the Jobs Summit a few months ago said, ``Taken collectively, the regulatory activity now underway is so overwhelmingly beyond anything we have ever seen that we risk moving this country away from a government of the people to a government of regulators.''
I want to straighten out one thing, Mr. Chairman. This bill does not do away with any of the thousands and thousands of laws and regulations that are already on the book. It applies only to new regulations, which will cost businesses and the consumer over $100 million each. I think the American people would be very surprised if they thought the Congress did not already act on legislation and laws that would cost our economy that much money.
We've heard estimates today by the SBA that rules and regulations cost small businesses almost $2 trillion a year, and anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000 per employee. We have so many thousands and thousands of laws and rules and regulations on the books today, Mr. Chairman, that they haven't even designed a computer that can keep up with them, much less a human being. People are out there every day violating laws that they didn't even know were in existence.
The thousands and thousands of rules and regulations that we have today make it more difficult to run and maintain a business than at any other time in this country's history, and they're the cause of why so many small businesses and medium-size businesses are going under or being forced to merge and why the big keep getting bigger in almost every industry.
The REINS Act is a very modest attempt to end Washington's almost unchecked regulatory power. And it would apply only to regulations which cost over $100 million annually, so there is nothing even close to being radical about this bill.
I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this bill, this very moderate and reasonable bill.
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