Soon-to-be Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) on Obama Administration’s Regulatory Excess

In an interview last week on the Hugh Hewitt Show, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), the incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, detailed the committee’s plans for action and oversight in the first few months of the 112th Congress. The Environmental Protection Agency’s aggressive agenda of regulatory excess will be a major area of attention. As Upton said, “From the start, we’ve said we’re not going to let this administration regulate what they’re unable to legislate.”

From the transcript, Chairman-elect Upton:

Lisa Jackson, the administrator of EPA, I think she might have testified one time before our committee the last two years. And we made the point of making sure that we don’t know whether we’re going to have to report to the IRS that she’s going to get free parking as a benefit up here on Capitol Hill, but she’s going to be up here a lot more. She’s going to need to defend what EPA is trying to do.

And I will say this. You know, since I talked to you last, EPA had threatened to do these boiler regulations. You know, this is involving, really, most businesses across the country. And we sent some pretty tough letters over the last four, six weeks. And they backed off on them. So that was a good sign.

And as we look at all these regulations that EPA has got their hands in, we’re going to be looking at all of them. And you might remember that as a matter of the Pledge, something that Kevin McCarthy did really good work on, and most Republicans, including myself, embraced this last fall, one of the planks in that was that we want to examine all of the regulations that impose costs that exceed, I want to say, it was $200 million dollars on businesses across the country.

So we’re going to take that up as an issue, and it’s one of the reasons why we’ve assigned Cliff Stearns to be the chairman of the very important subcommittee on oversight and investigations. And I would imagine that they’re going to, and I saw Cliff yesterday, he’s already got about his next three months of hearings, maybe as many as two a week, and beginning to plan out, and EPA’s going to be a part of that. And John Shimkus, too.

Throughout the wide-ranging interview, Upton is politically punctilious about the central role the Energy and Commerce subcommittees and their chairmen will play. He includes the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act as one topic for legislative scrutiny under the newly renamed Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA).

There’s also a brief discussion of John Engler’s move from the National Association of Manufacturers to the Business Roundtable.

Thank you to Hugh Hewitt and his team for producing the transcripts from his show. It’s an extra effort that helps make his show of such valuable for people who follow manufacturing policy.

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