Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2,000 Pages of Regulations That Business Hates

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, released nearly 2,000 pages of documents today from businesses that largely lay out the government regulations they feel get in the way of their industry's growth and ability to hire workers.

The concerns from nearly 200 businesses were released in advance of a hearing that Issa will chair this Thursday titled "Regulatory Impediments to Job Creation." The chairman solicited comments from nearly 200 different industries late last year.

Industry representatives outlined regulatory impediments to growing businesses and hiring workers to get that nine percent unemployment rate down.

Some highlights from the documents:

The Air Transport Association of America complained about a proposed FAA rule that would require certain rest time between flight duties to prevent pilot fatigue.

"In its proposal, the FAA failed to link their specific regulatory changes to targeted improvements," wrote Nicholas Calio of the association. He added that "it is still unclear what benefit each proposal is meant to provide."

The Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association objected to regulations that have restricted flying in DC airspace since 2003.

Associated Builders and Contractors Senior Manager Sean Thurman wrote that "overregulation translates into higher costs, which must be passed on to the consumer in order to remain viable. Higher consumer costs lead to fewer projects, which ultimately impact whether a firm is able to hire additional workers or must make unwanted layoffs." He said that is something the construction industry cannot afford right now.

The Business Roundtable objected to the Wall Street Reform Act passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress last year.

"This regulatory tsunami, occurring hastily and at a time when the U.S. economy is struggling to emerge from a deep recession, is hindering investment and job creation" wrote Larry Burton of the Business Roundtable. He added that environmental regulation, financial reform and health care are the group's primary concerns.

Chairman Issa released these documents on the same day that President Obama addressed the Chamber of Commerce. In the speech, Mr. Obama referenced regulations that business opposed in the past -- including seat belt requirements and even child labor laws.

Issa said that the committee's efforts are meant to complement the president's review of existing regulations as part of an overall effort to improve economic conditions for businesses.

"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" he said in a statement. "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."

Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the Top Democrat on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that not all regulations are bad.

"There must be a reasonable balance between job creation, which we all support, and regulatory measures that provide core protections to the American people," said Cummings.

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