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Mr. ROTHFUS. Madam Chairman, Americans face a regulatory burden with staggering costs to our economy and with substantial impacts on family budgets.
A recent paper by the Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates that the cost of Federal regulations to the economy exceeds $1.8 trillion. The American Action Forum predicts that $143 billion in new regulations may be finalized this year.
These figures are very troubling. That is why the bill we are considering is so important. H.R. 2804 reforms the regulatory process and will help promote the economic growth we so desperately need to get our economy booming again and add jobs.
The amendment that I offer today with my friend, Mr. Barr, is simple and one that I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will support.
If a regulation decreases employment or wages by 1 percent or more in an industry, it will be subject to heightened review and additional transparency requirements.
The amendment also requires agency heads to certify that they knowingly approved a rule that will result in lost jobs or reduced wages.
The principle is simple: If Federal bureaucrats are going to implement rules that take wages or jobs from Americans, they should take responsibility for their decisions.
It is important that Washington bureaucrats think through the impacts, the costs, and the burdens that red tape imposes on American families and communities. Bureaucratic elites are regulating solid, good-paying jobs right out of existence.
At a time when wages are stagnant for many American workers and when we so desperately need to grow the economy and add jobs, this is unbelievable.
On February 7, with my hardhat secured and my headlamp on, I had the privilege of traveling underground to learn more about the work and operations of the Madison mine in Nanty Glo, Pennsylvania. Miners like these work hard every day to power our electric grid and to supply our steel mills.
But their way of life is being purposefully regulated out of existence. Dan, the mine electrician, recently asked me what is going to be done to curb the President's war on coal. He wrote: As a mine electrician in your district, my men are asking me questions like: Is this ever going to end, or are we all going to be looking for new jobs?
My friends, this problem extends well beyond the coalfields of Pennsylvania or Kentucky. Regulations cost each household almost $14,700. That is almost 30 percent of an average Pennsylvania family's annual income.
Complying with this mountain of paperwork will also cost families and businesses almost 10.4 billion hours this year. Who thinks that this is the most productive use of their time?
Madam Chairman, the American people cannot afford more lost jobs and further reduced wages. Every lost job means one less person helping with the taxes needed to support Social Security, Medicare, and other critical programs for veterans, health care, education, and national defense.
I urge my colleagues to support the Rothfus-Barr amendment and the underlying bill.
Madam Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Barr), my friend.
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