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Public Statements

GOP Freshmen Hour

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. QUAYLE. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Our friend Mr. Tipton from Colorado was talking about some of the President's comments about business owners and people who created businesses, when he said that, you know, if you have a business, you didn't build that.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I have news for the President. They did build that. They built it on the sweat of their own brow, their hard work, their determination. Sometimes they failed, but most of the time they succeeded. And they didn't succeed because of government; they succeeded in spite of government because of all of the regulatory burdens they put in front of small businesses to grow, all of these things that they have to comply with, and the rules change on a daily basis.

I was reading an article--actually, an interview--with former Secretary of State George Shultz the other day in The Wall Street Journal, and he had a very appropriate analogy when he said that, if you take a sports game, whether it's football or baseball or what have you, and you're asking a team--here, it's going to be businesses--to get involved, get on the playing field, which is exactly what people are saying right now when people are holding back their cash if they've been lucky enough to have that success.

But the problem is you don't ever want to go onto a football field if you don't know what the rules of the game are, if the rules are going to change, or if you have a referee, like this administration, who is not going to faithfully execute the laws based on what is written rather than what they believe should have been written.

And so that is a huge difference, and it's a huge problem that's facing our job creators right now. They don't know what the rules are. They're constantly changing, and they don't have a referee that's going to call balls and strikes just as balls and strikes and not just make things up as they go along.

Our friend from Colorado (Mr. Tipton) mentioned that $1.75 trillion of annualized costs are dedicated to regulations. If you break that down, that's about $10,585 per employee for the average small business. I don't know about you, but that is a huge cost that is an annual cost that they pay every single year, and it's choking the ability for small businesses to take that money, take that capital, invest it, grow it, hire new people. Instead, they're using that for compliance costs. Instead, they're using that to push paper.

Those are the things that we're trying to get rid of. Those are the things we're trying to streamline so that we don't have the red tape that's going to continue to stifle economic growth in this country.

And if you look at what's coming down the road, my goodness. You have Taxmageddon that's coming up on January 1, where we have the Democrats in the Senate say that they're willing to go over the fiscal cliff in order to get after some of the best job creators and tax them, basically to Armageddon.

And then you have the regulatory environment that continues to stifle economic growth. And if you look at what the Obama administration has been able to do, just in 2011, they added $231.4 billion in new regulatory burdens. They added 82,000 pages to the Federal Register. That is an insane amount.

But this week we're going to be fighting back. That's why the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act is so vitally important for the economic future of our country.

Now, I have a bill that's entitled Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlement Act of 2012, and that's a piece of this bill. And what it does, it kinds of goes into an area that's not really talked about that much, but this is basically regulation via litigation, and it's extraordinarily damaging.

What happens is, if you have an interest group, they lobby Congress for a rule, for a statute, and having one of the agencies write a rule by a certain specific date. Now, the date is artificially short so they can't actually comply and go through the normal rulemaking process. So then that date lapses, and then that special interest goes and sues that agency. The DOJ comes in and tries to defend it, and sometimes--and most of the time--we get a more stringent regulatory burden that is placed on our businesses, and they don't even have a chance to respond. A lot of times they file the complaint the same day as the settlement agreement, and it is virtually impossible for a subsequent administration to actually change that because they have to go through the whole judicial process rather than going through the normal agency process.

So this starts to bring some transparency to that, brings the stakeholders to the table so they can have a say in what's going to happen in the regulation that's going to directly affect their business.

Now, some of the most onerous regulations that have been passed recently have been passed via this regulation via litigation, whether it's the Boiler MACT, the Cement MACT, the Utility MACT that's coming down. Some of the ones that affect Arizona especially, we're having one that came out that's going to affect the Navajo Generating Station that could cost hundreds of jobs, drive up Arizona energy prices by 20 to 30 percent, our water costs by 20 or 30 percent, and the compliance cost for the Navajo generating station is $1.1 billion.

This came through regulation by litigation. These are the types of things that this bill, which we're going to be debating in the next couple of days, is going to stop. It's going to put an end to it so our small businesses can grow again, so we can get our economy moving again, and so we can get people back to work.

I thank the gentleman for highlighting this issue and for leading on this issue.

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Mr. QUAYLE. No. I think Ronald Reagan said the scariest words you can hear are: ``I'm from the government. I'm here to help.'' I think that that is basically what our small businesses are saying right now, that if you have the government knocking on your door, it's not a good thing.

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Mr. QUAYLE. You're exactly right. Because of all the different agencies that there are to respond to, they're worried that, if they actually challenge the ruling or challenge the regulation that is being put upon them, then they will actually have further burdens placed upon them, further ramifications placed on them so that you have a constant living in fear because they're going to still have to report to that agency. Then, if they actually try to combat what just happened, they're going to have the full force of this agency going down their throats. That is a huge issue.

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Mr. QUAYLE. I very much agree with that.

One thing that Mr. Gardner from Colorado was talking about in terms of actually taking into account in the cost-benefit analysis is the impact on jobs. I've talked to a number of businesses, and they say that with all of the new regulation that has been coming out of this administration, that they've actually had to replace somebody in a productive part of their company, in R&D, research and development, with somebody on the administrative side just to be able to comply with the regulations.

If you look at that, it's a net zero for job creation or job loss. The problem is that that person who is involved in R&D, they have the ability to get new products on the market that are actually going to expand their company. Somebody who's actually just pushing paper and trying to comply with regulations is never going to put in some sort of measure where they're actually going to be able to expand their company. That's the big thing that we're talking about when you're saying that for every regulation you have 1.5 jobs for whatever million dollars. That's just hogwash. It's ridiculous that they're pointing to that. I've heard other Members say that increased regulation increases jobs. It does not. It increases paperwork. We don't want a bunch of paper pushers. We want people who are going to provide products and services that are going to be expanding the economic pie that we have in the United States.

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Mr. QUAYLE. You know, it is kind of a shame that we actually have to pass something like this. But so much power has been amassed in the executive branch that we need pieces of legislation like the REINS Act, like this bill.

But the thing is is that if the President would just pick up the phone and call his agency heads and say, Cut it out; don't pass these rules and regulations that are going to keep putting a damper on economic growth. I mean, they believe that they have executive discretion for just about anything. But my goodness, the one thing that they should be using some sort of discretion for is not putting more burdens on small businesses that are trying to grow.

So the President needs to just pick up the phone. That could lead to the biggest economic growth that could happen in this country if he picked up the phone and told every agency head, Hey, let's cut off all these new regulations that you guys are trying implement.

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