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Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. COBLE. Mr. Chairman, I thank the distinguished chairman from Texas for having yielded, and I rise in support of H.R. 4078.

I have the honor and privilege of serving as the chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law, which among other things has jurisdiction over the Administrative Procedures Act. Our subcommittee has spent an enormous amount of time and energy reviewing proposals to refine the manner in which our Federal Government formulates and implements regulations. I have encountered two philosophies on improving our regulatory system. One philosophy is we routinely review and improve regulations, while others advocate that the Federal Government should issue yet more regulations.

It appears to me that the Obama administration has embraced the latter philosophy because red tape has been flying fast and furious during his tenure. His administration has proposed regulations that are expected to exceed $100 million at the rate of 125 every 2 years. Currently, there are 24 major rules in the pipeline for review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The results have been telling. During the first 26 months of the Obama administration, our Federal Government has added $40 billion of annual regulatory cost to our economy, and this year the Federal Register already exceeds 40,000 pages.

In the transportation arena, new DOT passenger protection regulations are estimated by the American Aviation Institute to cost $1.7 billion annually. In total, there are 10 new Federal aviation regulations that will cost $4 billion annually. Although they will produce no significant benefit to the traveling public, they certainly and inevitably will be passed along in the form of fees, reduced services, or increased prices.

Since 2008, the combined budget of regulatory agencies has ballooned 16 percent, topping $54 billion. During the same time, employment at the agencies grew 13 percent while our economy only grew by 5 percent and the number of private sector jobs shrunk by 5.6 percent.

The scene is ominous, and I think it reflects what has happened to our economy, but I also do not believe that the situation is hopeless. The need for regulatory reform has been emulated by every administration since President Ronald Reagan, but efforts have not been successful. Enacting H.R. 4078 will be a step in the right direction.

Several titles of this legislation which were approved by the Judiciary Committee will implement immediate relief.

The original provisions of H.R. 4078, the Regulatory Freeze Act, could reportedly save our economy $22.1 billion and save thousands of jobs without jeopardizing our safety.

H.R. 3862, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, will end the practice of special interests using consent decrees to bypass the regulatory process and imposing their will and priorities on affected communities.

H.R. 4377, the RAPID Act, will help end the permitting logjam that has stifled development investment without diminishing a single environmental standard or protection.

Regulations that are narrowly tailored, effective, and routinely reviewed can make our society safer and our economy stronger, but when they are ineffective or inefficient, our security is jeopardized, and so is our economy.

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Mr. COBLE. No, I was not aware of that. But job creators need some certainty about the regulatory forecast to make the kind of investments that will create jobs. The Freeze Act is carefully drafted to only freeze those regulations that cost the economy $100 million or more. Thus, a regulation that has $100 million in benefits would not be frozen by the bill.

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