Perspective: Eliminating burdensome regulations

Across the 3rd Congressional District, during my travels this spring and summer, I’ve heard from many small business owners, farmers, and families who are tired of the government’s burdensome rules and regulations that are impacting their lives in negative ways.

To that end, this past week, I was proud to respond to your concerns about runaway government by passing several bills as part of “Stop Government Abuse Week.” These bills were primarily focused on cutting bureaucratic red tape and eliminating government waste and abuse.

The facts are disturbing with regard to the impact of federal regulation throughout government. According to the American Action Forum, an independent research institution, new rules created by the Obama administration in 2012 cost our economy $216 billion and created 87 million hours’ worth of paperwork, nearly doubling its previous record. The American Action Forum also determined that new rules under the Obama administration have cost the economy a total of $518 billion so far, adding that we should expect to see new regulations costing our economy about $155 billion in 2013.

One piece of legislation that I co-sponsored was the Keep the IRS off Your Health Care Act. This legislation prohibits the IRS from implementing any portion of Obamacare. The IRS has a role in nearly 50 different aspects of Obamacare and its involvement is so extensive that it has even established an office within the IRS just to implement Obamacare. The vote comes on the heels of the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, its improper disclosure of thousands of Social Security numbers and the administration’s announcement that it was delaying a health care regulation drafted by the IRS requiring large businesses to provide insurance for their full-time workers or pay a penalty. If the IRS cannot judiciously review organizations’ tax-exemption applications and maintain a secure system of tax-filers’ personally identifiable information, I surely do not trust it in the very personal business of health care.

The House also passed the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act which I happily co-sponsored in hopes of restoring some faith in our economy and minimizing the growth of out-of-control federal regulations. This legislation would make the regulatory process more transparent and accountable by requiring Congress to approve any rule costing $100 million or more on a nationwide basis. It would place a check-and-balance on the rulemaking process of unelected bureaucrats that are hurting small businesses with unaffordable and unnecessary red tape. Federal regulations are having a devastating impact on our ability to create jobs and get our economy moving again and the REINS Act would minimize this very troubling trend and give the American people a much stronger voice in the rulemaking process

Hard-working Americans like you are worthy of a government that works for you and with you, not against you. The bills the House passed last week will help do just that. During this time of high unemployment and slow growth, it was important for the House to step up and renew its efforts to reduce burdensome regulation and put us on a path to greater prosperity and economic growth. As always, I remain hopeful that the Senate will pass these important measures and send them to the president for his signature.

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., represents the state’s 3rd District, which includes Jefferson City. His local office can be reached at 573-635-7232.

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