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Public Statements

Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chair, two of the bills before us this week are just two more bills that will not create jobs, endanger the public health, and waste the time and money of the American people. These bills are trying to block new regulations under the misguided notion that all regulations are bad and prevent economic growth. This misguided approach deliberately ignores that regulations have improved the safety of our children's toys, made our air and water cleaner, and even saved the lives and limbs of our nation's workers.
As the AFL-CIO has H.R. 527, the so-called ``Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act'' would expand the reach and scope of the Regulatory Flexibility Act by covering regulations that may have an indirect effect on small businesses and adding a host of new analytical requirements that will make it even more difficult for agencies to take action to protect workers and the public. Almost any action an agency proposes--including something as simple as a guidance document designed to help a business comply with a rule--could be subject to a lengthy regulatory process. While the bill purports to be focused on small business, it would cover more than 99 percent of all employers, including firms in some industries with up to 1,500 workers or $35.5 million in annual revenues. It is a special interest bailout for business.

H.R. 3010, the so-called ``Regulatory Accountability Act'', is equally odious. This bill would effectively eviscerate the Occupational Safety and Health Act and Mine Safety and Health Act. As critics have noted, the bill would require agencies to adopt the least costly rule, instead of the most protective rule as is now required by the OSH Act and MSH Act. It would make protecting workers and the public secondary to limiting costs and impacts on businesses and corporations. If enacted, this legislation would be a license for businesses to cut corners and endanger workers and the public in the pursuit of ever greater profits--all at the expense of the public good.

I urge my colleagues to join me in rejecting both of these atrocious bills so we can get on with the business of creating real jobs.


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