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Public Statements

Regulatory Reform: Finding a Balance

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Speaker, for the record, America's businesses and innovators do not need the administration mandating how they run their companies--yet it regularly does and in the form of burdensome and costly regulations. We all share in the responsibility to find the balance of making sure employees have the safest working conditions possible while allowing them to have a job to come back to every day. Burdensome, onerous regulations place such a heavy toll on businesses that hiring slows and they are forced to start cutting from their workforces.

Part of protecting employees' jobs is making sure that the business they work for is still able to grow and create more good-paying jobs for those in Michigan and across the country.

Over the course of this Congress, I have had the opportunity to speak with numerous small businesses, owners, and workers who state unequivocally that they'd rather Washington hand out less regulations and more certainty. According to a Chamber of Commerce small business outlook survey from earlier this year, nearly 80 percent of small businesses say taxes, regulations, and legislation make it harder for them to hire. That's because small businesses are forced to pay on average $10,000 per employee per year in order to comply with excessive regulations. The Small Business Administration has reported that when added up, those costs amount to $1.75 trillion annually, which is enough money for businesses to provide 35 million private sector jobs with an average salary of $50,000 per year.

Mr. Speaker, truly, the price of red tape is the loss of American jobs. Because of these regulations, the United States is also losing its competitive edge. According to the ``Global Competitiveness Report'' for 2011-2012, the U.S. fell to the fifth most competitive economy in the world. It is down from second place when President Obama took office in 2009. The reason stated by the report: more burdensome regulations.

I ask my Big Government colleagues: What's wrong with being number one? Regulations are important, and businesses should be held accountable for the safety of their employees. But how much is too much? So far this year, the Federal Register has run more than 40,000 pages of regulations that range from burdensome to downright ridiculous. It contains such provisions as multiple hospital claim reimbursement codes for injuries caused by parrots and burns from flaming water skis. We need regulatory reform that cleans up the system, removes duplicative regs, and wipes out burdensome and excessive rules.

My Republican colleagues and I in the House have passed dozens of bills to pull back the government's regulatory arm. We passed the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, or REINS, Act which would require both Congress and the President approve all major rulings created by Federal agencies. We also have passed rules that would discourage any regulation that will have an annual impact of more than $100 million, resulting in major increases in costs and prices, or impose a significant negative effect on competition and jobs.

This week, we'll vote on H.R. 4078, the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act, which would prevent any Federal agency from taking a significant regulatory action until employment has reached 6 percent or less. House Republicans remain committed to growing the economy and requiring congressional approval for any regulation that has significant impact on the economy or burdens small businesses and costs jobs.

We must stop allowing unelected bureaucrats to enact job-killing rules with no checks or balances. By preventing these kinds of job-hindering proposals, we can give job creators more certainty about what rules they can expect. Small businesses are our country's real job creators, creating seven out of every 10 jobs.

To protect these jobs and our country and Michigan, I'll continue to fight for less red tape here and in Washington, and more jobs in our homeland.

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