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Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas. Madam Chair, I first would like to say I supported the America Invents Act, supported it in committee, and I've got great news for you and great news for me, and that is I don't see any evidence that the rules to which you referred would total $100 million in impact and meet that threshold. I just don't believe that's the case. So this amendment is unnecessary. Even if they do meet that threshold, there are several ways that they could be brought to Congress for approval.

The amendment, like so many others offered here tonight, seeks to carve out one set of regulations while leaving all the other regulations under the bill. Surely folks have their favorite regulations that they want to save and defend, and like a number of other carve-out amendments, this one is just not necessary. Titles I and II of the bill, for example, already exempt regulations, as I indicated, that will not impose $100 million in cost on the economy.

Surely the regulations this amendment seeks to protect, those that will streamline patent application processes, will save the economy money, not impose more cost. There is, thus, no need to worry that they will be affected by these titles of the bill.

Meanwhile, title III of the bill imposes balanced improvements in transparency, public participation, and judicial review for regulatory consent decrees and settlements. It will not prevent the Patent and Trademark Office from settling regulatory suits by consent decree or settlement. For these reasons, I oppose the amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas. While I appreciate the passion of the gentleman from North Carolina, it doesn't change the fact that it's very unlikely that the impact on the economy would be $100 million or more. That has nothing to do with the sales of the company. It has to do with the impact of the regulation on the economy.

I yield back the balance of my time.


Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas. Madam Chair, this amendment would exempt regulations to implement ObamaCare, the President's health care law, from the regulatory freeze.

Fear and uncertainty among job creators of the coming regulatory tidal wave to implement ObamaCare is certainly holding back our economic recovery. The Congressional Budget Office projects that ObamaCare will cost over $1.1 trillion. For American small businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat, this is a staggering burden.

If you want to know what small businesses think about the bill that is before us, I will tell you that, in Arkansas, they support it, but they certainly do not support ObamaCare. I would also point out, Madam Chair, that the NFIB, the premier small business organization in America, supports the bill.

It is estimated that ObamaCare will require nearly 160 new boards, bureaus, bureaucracies, and commissions. Overall, the Federal Government will issue, roughly, 10,000 pages of new regulations to implement the so-called ``health care reform.'' Yet this amendment would exempt these regulations from title I of the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act.

At a time when we should be working to repeal ObamaCare and to replace it with patient-centered health care reform, this amendment simply makes no sense. I would also point out, Madam Chair, that if there are regulations that the Obama administration wants to see proceed through the process, they can certainly send them to Congress and see if we will approve them. We can take a look at them, see if they make sense, see if they do what they intend, and see if it's right for the country.

For these reasons, I oppose this amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas. As I have said with regard to the other amendments that we have discussed here tonight, Madam Chair, there are several exemptions in the bill, and there is also the waiver, as the gentleman from Virginia has discussed.

Now, before I get to the waiver, I would like to point out that, unless I'm missing something, I think that the safety of peanut butter that I and my 2-year-old and my 4-year-old eat--I like crunchy; they like creamy--I think it's already regulated. And if it's not, we certainly make provision for that to happen. I, like the gentleman from Virginia, want to make sure people are protected. I happen to also be a veteran, and I certainly want to see veterans taken care of.

I want to make it clear that our bill does not go back and repeal regulations that are finalized and in place. What it does is it says, let's take a deep breath; let's have a time-out; and let's allow the many small businesses and other job creators in this country an opportunity to catch up.

We've heard a lot about small businesses tonight. And I will point out once again that the premier small business organization in this country is the NFIB, and they support the bill.

Now, with regard to the gentleman from Virginia's amendment, the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act will put a moratorium on unnecessary regulations that will cost the economy $100 million or more until the economy recovers. But even the administration admits that regulations can kill jobs and hinder economic growth, although this doesn't seem to have prevented them from issuing more and more of these most costly regulations.

Title I of the bill is carefully drafted to allow the President to issue certain necessary regulations during the moratorium period, such as regulations that implement trade agreements, for national security, for criminal and civil rights laws, the enforcement of those laws, and for an imminent threat to health or safety or other emergency. For any necessary regulation not covered by one of these exceptions, we have the congressional waiver that the gentleman from Virginia referred to. Under it, the President can ask permission for Congress to make the regulation, to approve it. This is entirely appropriate, since the Constitution vests in Congress ``all legislative powers.''

But this amendment could totally undermine the moratorium by allowing the President to swamp Congress with waiver requests. If Congress doesn't act on each request within 7 days--and the amendment doesn't specify whether this is calendar, session, or legislative days--then the waiver is deemed granted. With its track record of dramatically increasing the regulatory burden on the economy, this administration has shown that it cannot be trusted not to abuse the process this amendment would create. For these reasons, I oppose the amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas. I would just point out, Madam Chair, that the part of the bill that the gentleman from Maryland calls ``a farce,'' the Founding Fathers might refer to it as ``balance of powers.'' And that's what we're trying to do here, allow Congress to share in the process since we are the source of all legislative power. That is just another reason that I oppose this amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas. Madam Chair, I rise in support of this amendment. If an agency improperly makes a regulation during the moratorium period, as written, the Freeze Act would allow a small business that successfully challenges the action to collect attorney's fees. The gentleman from Florida's amendment would strengthen this provision by ensuring that any attorney's fees awarded under title I come out of the agency's budget and not from the general Federal Treasury through, for example, the judgment fund. If an office or agency defies the law and tries to make a regulation that should be subject to the Freeze Act, then that particular office or agency should bear the consequences of forcing a small business to go to court to vindicate its rights.

For these reasons, I support the amendment.


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