When we wrote about the REINS Act last week, we marveled that a body that is unable to discharge its basic duties would want the huge additional workload of having to review all major federal regulations before they became law.
It wasn’t our intention, but perhaps by comparing Congress to a bored child that wants more stimulation, we failed to emphasize how much House Republicans hate regulations and federal agencies. To demonstrate their commitment to preventing OSHA, EPA, FDA, CPSC, and other agencies from saving lives, they’ve scheduled four hearings on regulations next week. They are below.
- The Rules Committee will hold a hearing and markup on a House Resolution “Directing certain standing committees to inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed regulations . . .” on Tuesday.
- The Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on “H.R. ___, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011” on Wednesday. (This is a bill that would strip EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases.)
- The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the “‘Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011’ – Unleashing Small Businesses to Create Jobs” on Thursday.
- The Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on “Regulatory Impediments To Job Creation.” on Thursday.
That’s four different committees holding four different hearings on regulations. And these are in addition to any activity that might be scheduled around the REINS Act.
These hearings will not be devoted to inquiry or balanced consideration of the role of federal agencies. Instead, they will be hit jobs against the agencies responsible for making America a safer, fairer place. Sloppy, one-sided assumptions will be presented as research with no discussion of methodology. Agencies will be painted as wildly out of control, unchecked bureaucrats hellbent on regulating small businesses out of existence, with no consideration of the substantial scientific, legal, and technical analysis that each regulation is subject to.
Clearly, supporters of strong, effective regulations that ensure safe workplaces, food and consumer products free of contamination, clean air and water, cars that stop when they’re supposed to, and fair financial practices should be worried. Although none of these regulations actually impede jobs or hurt the economy, they will all be under attack in this Congress, as members waste time and money investigating a problem that doesn’t exist.