Impact of Excessive Regulations
Federal regulations affect almost everything we do. Some regulations are necessary; others cause regulatory burdens on individuals, businesses, and State and local governments.
Federal regulations affect almost everything we do. Some regulations are necessary - they protect consumers, public health, the environment, and many other things. Before coming to Congress last year, I owned and operated my own dental practice for 25 years. I was required to follow numerous regulations from the Department of Labor, OSHA and the Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, among others. Many of these regulations were common-sense regulations, and were important in ensuring patient and worker safety.
My small business was also faced with an array of unnecessary, burdensome, expensive, and sometimes even counterproductive regulations. As I travel to every corner of my 56,000+ mile congressional district and meet with my constituents, I have found my personal experience as a small business owner is true for many others. Individuals, businesses, and State and local governments are currently drowning in a sea of red tape and regulations. Former Congresses have allowed federal bureaucrats to run wild, developing far more regulations than necessary, and it has cost our country dearly.
The regulatory burdens on individuals, businesses, and State and local governments have gotten exponentially worse in recent years. A recent Heritage Foundation update concludes that in the first six months of the 2011 fiscal year, “15 major regulations were issued, with annual costs exceeding $5.8 billion and one-time implementation costs approaching $6.5 billion. Overall, the Obama Administration imposed 75 new major regulations from January 2009 to mid-FY 2011, with annual costs of $38 billion.” Even worse is the fact that numerous regulations are clear attempts to do an end-run around Congressional authority. Federal agencies have been establishing many rules and regulations that far exceed Congressional intent. In addition, those regulations have been developed without transparency and with little consideration for the negative impacts they may impose on our communities and the economy.
In my view, this regulatory environment is stifling our country’s economic recovery. Businesses in this country simply cannot operate under this ever-changing regulatory environment. By increasing the cost of doing business and limiting business practices, the federal government is discouraging innovation and prohibiting businesses from creating jobs. It is impossible to make any type of long-term financial projection when another regulation that could impose major costs on the price to do business can be developed by a bureaucrat in Washington at any time. Further, these regulations amount to a “hidden tax,” because the costs of conforming with these regulations are passed on to the consumer in terms of higher costs.
This is the wrong approach, particularly in a recession when jobs are so badly needed. Our founding fathers intended for the federal government to be a small part of our everyday lives. The sooner we restore our independent spirit and encourage individual initiative, the sooner our economy will grow. To get there, Congress needs to reassert itself, override the job killing bureaucrats, and implement a whole-scale repeal of unnecessary and wasteful regulations.
As a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the “watch dog” committee in the House, I am seeking ways to repeal unnecessary regulations and otherwise enact Congressional disapproval of some regulations.