House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has once again dug his heels in to confront President Barack Obama about major policies, taking issue with the number of regulatory actions the president has taken, which the speaker calls “job-crushing.”
Boehner posted a letter about jobs and regulatory action on his website, to be delivered to the president in Martha’s Vineyard, where he is on vacation. The speaker stressed that private sector employers pointed to expensive regulatory actions as a roadblock to creating more jobs.
“This year the Administration’s current regulatory agenda identifies 219 planned new regulations that have estimated costs in excess of $100 million each,” Boehner wrote in the letter. “That’s almost a 15 percent increase over last year, and appears to contradict public suggestions by the Administration this week that the regulatory burden on American job creators is being scaled back.”
Boehner ends the letter by asking the administration to release a list of all planned regulatory action that will have $1 billion or more in estimated economic impact. He signs the letter with simply, “John.”
This week, the White House announced plans to streamline hundreds of regulations, a process they claimed would save at least $10 billion over five years.
Cass Sunstein, the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, explained the new actions in a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week.
“Many of the reforms focus on small business,” Sunstein wrote. “For example, the Department of Defense recently issued a new rule to accelerate payments on contracts to as many as 60,000 small businesses, thus improving their cash flow in an economically difficult time. The Small Business Administration is adopting a single electronic application to reduce the paperwork burden now imposed on certain lenders, which in turn will benefit borrowers who seek relatively small amounts of capital to grow and succeed.”
Sunstein goes on to detail the planned cutting of red tape across several departments, including simplifying tax paperwork to eliminate 55 million hours of time spent filing annual taxes.
“Today’s plans explicitly recognize that the regulatory look-back is not a one-time endeavor,” the op-ed reads. “Agencies will continue to revisit existing rules, asking whether they should be updated, streamlined or repealed. And they will do so in close consultation with the public. Ideas are welcome at any time.”
In a blog post accompaniment to his letter, Boehner attempts to rile up voters about the regulatory actions, painting them as a shady and expensive procedure, and explains in detail how to look at the planned regulations.
“A search of this year’s information, posted online in recent days, reveals that the Obama Administration’s job-crushing regulatory barrage is not being scaled back, but rather expanded, appearing to contradict White House rhetoric this week about President Obama’s intent to reduce the regulatory burden on job creators,” the post reads.
In the letter, Boehner requested that the list of what he considers costly regulations be available to Congress by the end of the August recess so it would be “available as the House considers legislation requiring a congressional review and approval of any proposed federal government regulation that will have a significant impact on the economy as we continue our efforts to remove impediments to job creation and economic growth for the American people.”
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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