Darrell Issa Archives - Shopfloor

Oversight Committee Examines Regulatory Excess

By | Regulations | No Comments

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today held a hearing to examine the impact of federal regulations on businesses and jobs.  You can view Chairman Issa’ s opening statement here.

The hearing comes alongside a new report from the Committee entitled “How the Administrative State has Broken President Obama’s Promise of Regulatory Reform.”  The report sheds light on exactly how big the federal regulatory state is.  For example, it notes that “proposed rules have increased from 2,044 in 2009 to 2,439 in 2010.”   And, “the Obama Administration has imposed 75 new major regulations costing over $38 billion annually.”

And it’s only going to get worse: “The number of full time regulatory employees is expected to reach an all-time high of 291,676 in 2012″ and ” [O]f the 4,257 regulatory actions in the pipeline, 219 are considered economically significant, meaning they are estimated to impose a cost of $100 million or more on the economy.”

The full report is available here and video of today’s hearing should be online soon here.

Jobs Creators Offer Views on Regulations

By | Regulations | No Comments

Roll Call today found a welcome, different angle to the now well-covered story about Chairman Darrell Issa of the House Oversight and Investigations Committee seeking the views of business representatives on excessive federal branch regulations. From “Everybody Has a Rule They Hate“:

When Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asked businesses for their gripes about government regulations, he received detailed dossiers from some of K Street’s heaviest hitters, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He also got a two-page missive from Captain Steve Papen, who owns Fintastic Fishing Charters in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“Our regulations and outdated regulatory methods are out of control and we need the help of OUR government to make things right,” Papen wrote to Issa’s committee through its website link that encouraged anyone to submit comments. “We are being exploited on every level and we too have the right to make a living doing something we love.”

In an interview, Papen told the paper that his business is suffering largely because of regulations put certain fish such as red snapper and gag grouper off limits for some portion of the year.

Papen’s comments were made via a website, AmericanJobCreators.com, set up by Chairman Issa to solicit input from everyday business owners and operators about the burdens of regulation.

On Monday, Issa also released copies of submissions his committee had received, commenting:

Policymakers often hear anecdotal examples from job creators about how government regulations impede the type of permanent, private-sector job creation necessary to successfully lower unemployment. This project is an opportunity for private industry to put forward detailed and specific examples so that both the American people and policymakers can determine for themselves what actions can be taken to create jobs.

Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, testifies Thursday before the House Oversight Committee and its hearing, “Regulatory impediments to job creation.” (Here’s the NAM’s letter to the committee.) Other witnesses:

  • Harry Alford, CEO, Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Karen Kerrigan, President, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council
  • Tom Nassif, President and CEO, Western Growers Association
  • Jerry Ellig, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
  • James Gattuso, Senior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy, The Heritage Foundation
  • Michael J. Fredrich, President, MCM Composites, LLC
  • Jack Buschur, President, Buschur Electric

Letter to Issa: The Manufacturers’ Priorities

By | General, Regulations | 2 Comments

An entirely predictable, nakedly apparent campaign of political outrage flurried briefly after Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) sought input from business groups and others about regulations that his House Oversight Committee could review in committee hearings. See, see, he’s letting Big Business set his agenda!

Phhpt. A committee chairman who seeks information about the economic impact of regulations logically talks to the people who are being regulated. If you’re concerned that excess regulations discourage hiring, it makes sense to talk to groups that represent employers.

The Daily Caller summarized the artificial controversy in a piece Thursday, including links to letters sent to Issue from business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers.

From, “In letters to Issa, industry and policy groups target expanding reach of EPA regulators“:

A series of letters solicited by top GOP oversight official Rep. Darrell Issa put the Environmental Protection Agency in crosshairs, urging the aggressive new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to investigate a series of strict new regulations finalized by the Obama administration.

Letters from the Business Roundtable, National Association of Manufacturers, Competitive Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation all focus on a slew of new EPA regulations, especially the agency’s “endangerment finding” giving it the green light to regulate to stop global warming.

Of course EPA raises the most concern. It’s the source of the largest number of jobs-killing regulatory proposals, as the Administration itself documents!

Read More

Circumnetting the President, Business and Regulations

By | Economy, Regulations | No Comments

Wall Street Journal, “Obama Courts Business Support“:

Among the rules targeted by business and trade groups are proposed EPA regulations governing ozone and greenhouse-gas emissions, and emissions from industrial boilers; a Transportation Department rule limiting trucking-industry working hours; and an Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule that could require factory owners to install comprehensive noise-reduction technology, instead of issuing protective gear for workers.

“We want to take full advantage of this opportunity to encourage the administration to change course on a variety of proposals,” said Rosario Palmieri, vice president of regulatory policy at the National Association of Manufacturers.

Greenwire, via New York Times, “Obama Issues Executive Order to Cut Red Tape“:

Obama has recently reached out to businesses, meeting with corporate CEOs last month to ask how the government could help them create jobs and rebuild the economy. Industry groups were pleased by today’s announcement.
Read More

Can You Believe President Obama is Asking Business about Regulations?

By | Regulations | No Comments

From President Obama’s Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System“:

As the executive order I am signing makes clear, we are seeking more affordable, less intrusive means to achieve the same ends—giving careful consideration to benefits and costs. This means writing rules with more input from experts, businesses and ordinary citizens.

Why, why, even lobbyists might be able to comment. Outrageous!

OMB Director Jack Lew doubles down on the President’s message, writing in a blog post:

[We] need to follow a smarter, more effective approach to regulating to ensure that these necessary protections work without stifling America’s growth and competitiveness. We believe that it is particularly critical now, as our economy continues to recover and create new jobs, that our regulatory strategy be as evidence-based, predictable, cost-effective, and carefully targeted as possible to enable American businesses to continue to grow and innovate.

Just turning the Administration’s regulatory process over to Big Business. It’s unconscionable.

Earlier coverage…

AFL-CIO Joins NAM to Back OSHA On-Site Consultation Program for Small Business

By | Human Resources, Labor Unions, Regulations | One Comment

The AFL-CIO posted an open letter to Rep. Issa (R-CA) from California Labor Federation Legislative Advocate Mitch Seaman reacting to an article in POLITICO about the Congressman seeking input from companies, business groups and think tanks on federal regulation. The AFL-CIO snidely and incorrectly cited part of the article that reported the National Association of Manufacturers’ call for oversight of OSHA’s regulatory proposals that would gut employer compliance programs (e.g. on-site consultation).

The National Association of Manufacturers responded to your request for marching orders by naming OHSA consultations as “high-priority regulations that can cost manufacturing jobs.” Not to nitpick, but OSHA consultations are free services provided by OSHA—or a state OSHA program—that identify potential hazards before they happen. This is a win-win that creates both safer and less expensive work environments. As workers, we are curious as to exactly how jobs are created by eliminating a free service that saves employers money and reduces workplace injury.

Marching orders? What silliness.

Still, we’re pleased to see the labor group’s apparent agreement with the NAM about the value of the consultation program, as the blogger describes them as “a free service that saves employers money and reduces workplace injury.” Absolutely. We feel strongly that OSHA should not hinder a successful program that allows small businesses to voluntarily approach OSHA for advice on how to make their businesses both more productive and safer for their employees. The NAM joined with numerous other organizations in the Coalition for Workplace Safety’s comments to OSHA which urged the agency not to remove important aspects of the program that encourage company participation. It’s rare when the AFL-CIO and the NAM can find common ground on policy, but we were optimistic that we may have found a new ally in our effort to protect an important OSHA program.

Labor’s newfound support is especially welcome since the AFL-CIO submitted comments to the agency’s regulatory proposal calling for major changes that would have made it much more difficult for employers to use the OSHA program effectively. Let’s hope that the members of the California Labor Federation can make AFL-CIO’s staff in Washington aware of why they agree with the NAM when they describe the program as a “win-win that creates both safer and less expensive work environments.”

If Jobs are the Priority, Of Course You Ask Employers for Input

By | Economy, Regulations | No Comments

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), incoming chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has drawn media attention and the predictable outrage from the predictably outraged for asking companies and business groups (including the National Association of Manufacturers) for their views on regulations and job creation. Issa sent a letter last month to more than 150 companies, trade associations and research group seeking input, inquiries consistent with his priorities for the committee as he identified in a Bloomberg interview:

My number one priority is safety and security of the American people. My two priority is to reduce spending, and my number three, but not the last by any means, is to get this economy going away so there will be jobs. That’s what we have to do with the administration, whenever possible.

If jobs are priority, it makes sense to seek the opinions of the people who create the most jobs, that is, private sector employers. We recall President Obama spending a lot of time with corporate CEOs last month for those very reasons.

Politico first reported the story and did a fair job in its coverage, including the NAM’s perspective on the Obama Administration’s regulatory excess. In the story, Rosario Palmieri, NAM’s vice president for regulatory policy, cited as worthy of review the EPA greenhouse gas controls for major emitters, the proposed limits on ground-level ozone and new controls on incinerators and boilers.

From “Darrell Issa asks business: Tell me what to change“:

NAM’s “high-priority” regulatory list also includes OSHA consultation, noise and other policies, upcoming Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission controls regarding over-the-counter derivatives, Transportation Department limits on hours of service for truck drivers, and implementing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act signed into law in 2008 by President George W. Bush.

“These are all high-priority regulations that can cost manufacturing jobs and will if implemented the wrong way or will as currently proposed or finalized,” Palmieri said. “We’re anxious for some oversight of these programs.”

He said there is a growing voice from “members on both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, recognizing that the cumulative burden of regulation is a real problem and if we want to create more jobs and improve this economy, we need to get a handle on it.”

The jobs-killing, economy-throttling, anti-liberty consequences of regulatory excess are among the most frequent topics of commentary here at Shopfloor.org.

Journalistic reports on Issa’s letters were by and large fair, representing his legitimate goals in seeking information and business’ legitimate goals in providing information. The usual zealots and apologists for  the all-encompassing regulatory state (Public Citizen, for example) declaimed and demanded: How dare Issa talk to business! He should join us in demonizing them.

The impact of regulatory state on the economy and America’s citizens well deserves oversight and investigation, and Issa’s letters are an attempt to make his committee’s efforts informed and productive. That looks like good, responsive, sensible representation to us.

As for the Oversight Committee

By | General | No Comments

Below we noted that the election of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) to chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee would mean a new chairman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, but that the oversight panel would probably turn into a pretty passive operation given the new political balance of power.

The Hill has a good update on the committee, noting that next in line to chair Oversight and Government Reform is Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY).  ““I have the seniority. I’m next in line. I’ve been around here 26 years,” Towns told The Hill.

The committee might be a little more exciting than otherwise with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) aggressively seeking the top Republican spot. Issa doesn’t shrink from a fight.