Today, Representative Kathy Hochul (NY-26) voted against H.R. 4078, the so-called "Red Tape Reduction Act.' The bill would prohibit agencies from taking any action that would contribute to the creation of new federal rules until the unemployment rate falls below six percent.
Rep. Hochul, who has been a champion for the elimination of burdensome regulations, cautioned that the bill's misguided approach would halt many important protections for middle class families, seniors, and veterans. Specifically, Hochul cited flight safety reforms unanimously passed by Congress after the 2009 crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence Center, NY, which would be delayed under the proposed legislation.
"I spend much of my time meeting with Western New York businesses, and I know that government is too often on our backs instead of on our sides. There is a right and a wrong way to roll back burdensome regulations, and this bill is a ham-fisted approach that threatens the new rules that families in my district fought for to improve airline safety and keep our skies safe," said Rep. Hochul. "Flight 3407 was a devastating tragedy, and we owe it to the victims, their families, and to the communities touched by this tragedy to protect the reforms passed in their honor."
Rep Hochul filed an amendment that would exempt improvements to airline safety under the "Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010' from this moratorium. However, the House Rules Committee denied a vote for Rep. Hochul's amendment despite the widespread bipartisan support for aviation safety reforms.
Other reforms that would be prevented by the regulatory freeze include CFTC protections designed to crack down on oil speculators that drive up the cost of gasoline, annual updates for Medicare providers, and new rules designed to provide improved benefits to veterans and their families.
"The American people deserve a Congress that is interested in solving problems, not playing politics. We need a thoughtful approach to eliminating red tape. Not all protections are job killing, and some, like the flight 3407 reforms, are life-saving," Rep. Hochul said.
Rep. Hochul has a strong record of working to roll back burdensome regulations. Just this week she supported the passage of the Preserving America's Family Farms Act. This legislation, which she cosponsored, would prevent the Department of Labor from imposing onerous regulations that would have banned young people from gaining hands-on work experience on family farms. In the past, she has fought unnecessary regulations on farm dust and winter manure and fought to cut red tape and reduce paperwork at the Department of Labor.