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Public Statements

Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas. I rise in opposition to the motion, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas. Thank you.

Eleven months ago on the floor of this House, the President of the United States promised the American people to ``reduce barriers to growth and investment. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them.''

Those are the words of the President of the United States in this body. I couldn't agree more. That very month, the President issued an Executive order that said, ``Our regulatory system must promote economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.''

I couldn't agree with the President more. The President said our regulatory system ``must identify and use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends,'' and that it ``must take into account benefits and costs.''

I couldn't agree with the President more. He was right. The President's words were correct. He was right when he spoke here. When our regulatory system doesn't meet this standard--the President's supposed standard--it kills jobs, suppresses economic growth, and locks us ever further into stagnation.

We see the evidence all around us. I recently hosted a jobs conference in Little Rock, in my district, at the President Clinton Library, which brought together a diverse group of over 60 private sector job creators. They were there to discuss how Federal policies affect their ability to succeed in the marketplace. The job creators that I heard from in Little Rock that day overwhelmingly agreed and were of one voice, almost unanimous: the Obama administration's over-regulation of the private sector injects uncertainty into the market, which stifles job creation.

One of my constituents, Susan Gunaca, a constituent of mine who owns a number of International House of Pancakes restaurants, said this, ``As a business owner today, I am in a constant posture of defense.''
Let me be more specific. Some of the jobs conference participants worked for companies that provide low-cost electricity to Arkansas families and businesses, but even their mission is under siege by the Obama administration's EPA, which is intent on forcing some power plants offline. The compressed timeline for many recently issued regulations requires too much in too short a timeframe for these electricity providers to comply.

Sandra Hochstetter Byrd of the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives put it this way: ``As a for instance, the two most prominent rules, Utility MACT and the Clean Air Visibility Rule, could actually cause us to have to shut down our coal plants if they're not extended.'' If plants get shut down, electricity costs will go up and more jobs will be lost.

We will not sit idly by and watch as this administration kills jobs in Arkansas or in any other State in this great country. The President hasn't been to Arkansas in a long, long time; but I would be happy to show him the impact of over-regulation firsthand.

Republicans in Congress took the President at his word on regulatory reform to heart. We said, Hey, you're right, Mr. President. We're going to do something about it. We saw the evidence of overly burdensome regulations all around us. So what did we do? We got to work. We wrote a bill, the Regulatory Accountability Act, to reform a regulatory system so that it does exactly what the President said it should do.

We built the bill on the very terms of President Obama's Executive order. It calls on agencies to consider the benefits and the costs before they regulate. It calls on agencies to use the best reasonably available science. It calls on agencies to ``use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends.'' And it does so while ensuring that agencies will achieve every single statutory objective Congress sets before them.

[Begin Insert]
Recognizing the soundness and goodwill of this effort, several of our Democratic colleagues joined us to cosponsor this bill. A bipartisan group of Senators introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

It's time to adopt this legislation. It's time for the President to match his actions to his words by signing this bill.

But today, when this legislation comes before us, we hear a different story from too many on the other side of the aisle. When legislation comes to the floor of this House that will at one and the same time protect the American public and free business from unnecessary shackles on job creation, we hear a different tune.

When it's time to really take action to help America's job creators, many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle run from their responsibilities to protect a regulatory status quo that is killing job creation as we speak. Mr. Speaker, if you want to know how to create jobs, then just ask job creators. If you want to know what's stifling job growth, ask the job creators. They know. It's their job to know. They will tell you to pass this bill now.

When we have the opportunity to pass regulatory reform, President Obama shows his true colors: All talk, and no action. What a shame. He threatens to veto a bill that is built directly on the terms of his own executive order on regulation. He threatens to veto the very bill that would make his own words permanent for the benefit of the Nation.

And this political motion to recommit is laid before us in an attempt to assure that the President doesn't have to do what he promised. And it makes no sense because our bill addresses the precise issue of reducing drug costs raised by the minority.

Luckily, the majority of this House will vote to pass this bill. I urge all of my colleagues to support this bill, reject this motion to recommit, and show America that Congress can act for the good of job creators and the Americans who desperately want those jobs.

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