Washington Bureau-Alex Cameron - May 24, 2023 5:54 pm

U.S. Capitol Washington


With Republicans now in the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, many committees are holding hearings on issues Democrats had little or no interest in when they controlled committee agendas.

Wednesday’s hearing in the House Budget Committee, entitled “Reigniting American Growth and Prosperity Series: Removing the Burdens of Government Overreach,” is a prime example.

The notion that the federal government is forever sticking its nose in places where it’s not wanted and creating regulations where none are needed is a bread-and-butter Republican issue — especially when a Democrat is in the White House.

“We know under [Presidents] Biden and Obama, it averaged a cost of about $150 billion per year,” said Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-OK2), explaining what some economists have claimed regulations cost the nation. “Under Trump, it was $15 billion.”

Congressman Brecheen, who sits on the Budget Committee and participated in Wednesday’s hearing, said not only do excessive regulations drag down the economy, they’re unconstitutional.

“Article 1, section 1 of United States Constitution says all legislative powers shall be vested in Congress,” Brecheen stated in an interview Wednesday afternoon, “and what you have happen up here is a constant override of that constitutional mandate, where, not by vote of Congress, you have people that are sitting in cubicles — unelected bureaucrats — that are making decisions, by rule and guidance letters, that have the force of law behind it.”

Brecheen is certainly not alone in believing the Biden administration has gone too far in imposing new regulations.

“Oftentimes, agencies will propose rules without actually reviewing the rules that are in place,” said Rep. Stephanie Bice in an interview last week.

Congresswoman Bice (R-OK5) also sits on the House Budget Committee and recently introduced legislation that would only allow an agency to get consideration of a new rule if it gets rid of three others.

“So, we’re actually reducing the red tape and the bureaucracy for the businesses and entities that deal with these agencies,” Bice argued, “so that they are able to do what they do best, and that’s grow business, grow the economy and thrive.”

Democrats at the hearing pointed out that it’s easy to generalize about the negative consequences of overregulation but said that completely ignores the importance of regulations in protecting American consumers, workers and families.

“When it comes to regulation, if you ask the American people, if you ask me, ‘What do think about too much regulation or onerous regulation?’ we all say, of course we don’t want that, we don’t like regulation,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), the committee’s ranking member. “But then the moment something goes wrong because there wasn’t sufficient regulation, people are immediately outraged.”


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