Today the U.S. House of Representatives approved three amendments offered by Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) to H.R. 4078, the Red Tape Reduction Act, legislation which places a moratorium on major new federal regulations until the national unemployment rate drops below 6 percent. Posey's Amendments, all adopted with bipartisan support, would hold regulators more accountable for the regulations they propose that exceed their legal authority, refocus the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) on its core mission to protect investors from financial predators like Bernie Madoff, and stop the IRS from issuing a costly new regulation which if not stopped will lead to tens of billions of dollars leaving the U.S. in capital flight.
"Overregulation is hampering job creation and adversely impacting economic growth," said Congressman Posey. "My common sense amendments will ensure that regulators follow the law as Congress intended them to do rather than going down unauthorized rabbit-trails that are diversions from their core mission.
"Today Washington bureaucrats are able to craft and enforce rules that cost our economy billions of dollars while remaining aloof from the economic impact they have. There is a disconnect between those in comfortable beltway offices generating reams of "red tape' and actions taken by the courts or Congress to delay or roll back rules that exceed the agency's statutory authority. When a regulator exceeds their authority, they have wrongfully denied American citizens and businesses the benefits of their labor and the means of productivity."
Rep. Posey's Federal Office Accountability Amendment (adopted 248-171) requires that the payment of awarded attorneys fees and costs arising from lawsuits over excessive regulations be paid for out of the administrative budget of the particular office of the agency that advanced the rule, not the U.S. Treasury or an agency slush fund. Posey said the Amendment is intended to ensure federal rule makers have more "skin in the game" and exercise more diligence when crafting federal regulations and not exceed their authority.
The House also passed Posey's Amendment to direct the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to focus on protecting investors from financial fraud instead of making climate change policies. The Amendment is based on legislation that Posey introduced with Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) called the MADOFF Act, which instructs the SEC focused on protecting investors and not issuing or enforcing new and controversial climate change guidance. The amendment also does not prohibit companies from voluntarily sharing climate change information if they choose to do so, but Posey said he believed investors would be better off if the SEC left global warming regulations to other agencies and focused the SEC's resources on tracking down fraud. The Amendment passed with a bipartisan vote of 245-171.
Posey's third Amendment, which is based on bipartisan, bicameral legislation he introduced with Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) to stop the IRS from implementing new misguided regulations expected to lead to billions of dollars of capital flight from U.S. banks to foreign institutions. Despite strong bipartisan requests in both chambers of Congress, the Treasury Department has refused to withdraw the rule, or at a minimum, conduct an economic impact analysis on how the regulation would affect the banks and the economy.
According to Florida's office of financial regulation, the regulation could lead to tens of billions of dollars being withdrawn from Florida banks and moved to overseas accounts. Posey said his Amendment would delay the IRS rule until unemployment drops to 6 percent. The House approved this Amendment with a bipartisan vote of 251-165.