Mr. LEWIS of Minnesota.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to say how incredibly proud I am to be representing Minnesota’s Second District. It is an honor that I do not take lightly, and I am excited to get to work for my constituents.
Here in the House we have hit the ground running.
During my first 2 weeks in Congress, we took steps to jump-start our economy by addressing the massive web of regulations that were issued by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in the administration.
In fact, 2016 was a record-breaking year for Federal agencies. Unfortunately, the record they set is not a good one.
In 2016 alone, there were 3,853 finalized rules and regulations, amounting to 97,110 pages. That is more than any year in history.
Based on the page numbers alone, this amount of regulations may seem staggering, but the economic costs are even more damaging.
In 2015, regulations cost American consumers and small businesses an estimated $1.88 trillion in lost economic productivity and higher prices …
OK … you get it “Regulations = Bad” … “Jason Lewis = Our Savior“.
Not exactly sure where “Representative” Lewis gets his information … but it could be from the Competitive Enterprise Institute which reported “Federal regulation and intervention cost American consumers and businesses an estimated $1.88 trillion in 2014 in lost economic productivity and higher prices.”
The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit and donations are tax-deductible … reportedly from such groups as the Charles Koch Foundation, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, Americans for Prosperity, PhRMA, Monsanto, American Bankers Association, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, railroads that transport oil and coal, etc.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute notes that “The George W. Bush administration averaged 62 major regulations annually over eight years, while the Obama administration has averaged 81 major regulations annually over six years.”
Yeap … it’s not just Obama, it was Bush … but don’t worry, the future is good now that “Representative” Lewis has “hit the ground running“.
“Representative” Lewis has authored H. R. 462 the Reforming Executive Guidance Act (which sounds a like the legislation proposed last session by Matt Salmon who recently retired).
The interesting thing is that “Representative” Lewis offered his bill after the House had already approved H.R. 26 Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 (REINS Act) the previous week.
Why wasn’t “Representative” Lewis’ Reforming Executive Guidance Act incorporated into the REINS Act … well, remember “the House we have hit the ground running” … the GOP leadership doesn’t have time for Committee action … in fact, many committee assignments have yet to be made … but they are passing legislation already.
Yet, should the question be if regulations are so bad, why did President Bush promulgate so many ?
Maybe because that’s the way the Constitution structured it — the legislative branch enacts programs and the administrative branch implements the programs.
“Representative” Lewis hypes his argument by stating “In 2016 alone, there were 3,853 finalized rules and regulations, amounting to 97,110 pages. That is more than any year in history.”
Let us remember that every year as rules and regulations are implemented, the number of collective pages will increase — every time a new rule is made or eliminated, pages are added.
So how did President Bush “final rule” numbers compare with President Obama ?
2001-2008 31,634 Bush
2009-2016 29,067 Obama
So, “Representative” Lewis, please don’t try to dazzle us with numbers.
Like taxes, rules and regulations are necessary — but for politicians they are easy targets … especially when potential campaign contributions are possible.
The opportunity to attack regulations and please contributors is really what has “Representative” Lewis hitting the ground running.
And, “Representative” Lewis has some supporters cheering him on … such as the Heritage Foundation which has rallied against regulations … citing a number of regulations that should be eliminated … such as the ACA’s Medical Loss Ratio. According to their report, the MLR start-up cost was $48.1 million for insurance companies to review and report the amount of actual healthcare costs versus the monies spent on marketing, administrative expenses and CEO salaries. The MLR amendment in the ACA was authored by Minnesota Senator Al Franken. In 2015, health insurance companies were required to pay $469 million in rebates to about 5.5 million people – bringing the total over four years to more than $2.4 billion.
Think about it … a regulation was necessary to tell the insurance what to report … eliminating the rule will allow insurance companies to spend more on other expenses and consumers paying the price.
That’s what “Representative” Lewis is failing to acknowledge … that many of these rules have positive effects … for consumer safety, energy efficiency and public health.
And yes, it can be acknowledged that there may be some costs associated with those rules … just as it can be acknowledged that every proponent of dismantling or opposing a rule has a self-motivating – business – interest.
For his second week on the job, “Representative” Lewis has proven to be a great friend to the Washington Powerbrokers and their frieds at the Competitive Enterprise Institute … something that has become quickly evident — who Jason Lewis really “represents.”