Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) released the following statement after the Department of Labor (DOL) announced this week it was reversing a decision to move forward with a proposed rule that would undermine the ability for young people to work on family farms.
"The decision by the Department of Labor to drop their proposed rule is the right one, but frankly this was an ill advised policy from the beginning. Had this rule gone in to effect, it would have undermined the ability of the next generation of farmers from getting the hands on experience that is necessary for any trade and line of work. Farm safety has improved significantly over the last several decades and there are already numerous regulations in place to ensure the safety of anyone who is involved in the agricultural industry.
"The trend in Washington for way to long has been the overreach by bureaucrats who are handing down regulations on industries without a clue of the negative economic impact it will have on local communities, businesses, and individuals. Now that we have been successful in convincing the DOL to reverse their decision to move forward, I am going to use this momentum to continue to highlight burdensome and unnecessary regulations that are making it more difficult to create jobs and grow the economy."
Congressman Schock has been a vocal critic of the DOL's proposed rule to prohibit young people from working on family farms. In October 2011, Schock sent a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, urging her to extend the comment period so that farmers who were busy in the harvest season had sufficient time to give their input. In December 2011, Schock contacted Secretary Solis again to express his opposition to DOL's insistence to move forward with the proposed rule. Schock is also a co-sponsor of H.R. 4157, the Preserving America's Family Farms Act, that would have prevented DOL from enacting the rule.
Since January 2009, there has been a 52 percent increase in completed regulations deemed economically significant, defined as costing the economy at least $100 million annually. The Obama Administration has currently proposed 3,118 regulations with 167 considered economically significant. In 2011 alone there were 79,000 pages printed in the Federal Register, and there are around 180 million words of binding federal law and regulations. As of last year, the Federal Government has imposed more than 47.2 million paperwork burden hours and $65 billion in new compliance costs.