Col. Paul Cook (Ret), U.S. Congressman, 8th Congressional District
A lot has changed in a year. Most people assumed we would continue to have divided government in Washington for the foreseeable future. However, the results of the November election left us with a unified Republican Congress and presidency.
Absent the partisan gridlock that characterizes a divided government, we have a real opportunity to move a pro-growth agenda forward. Republicans in Congress are committed to working with President Trump on economic issues.
President Trump set the tone in his initial days with his “two-for-one” executive order, which requires that federal agencies eliminate two regulations for every new one they attempt to implement. Americans, particularly small business owners, are seeing the rising cost of regulations, and they aren’t happy. In fact, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, more than 90% of small business owners support reforming the regulatory process. 72% of small businesses reported that regulations were hurting their operating environment.
Since 2008 over 3,300 new regulations have been added each year that collectively cost $981 billion. The total cost of all US regulations amounts to an estimated $1.86 trillion–or $15,000 per family per year. The Obama Administration set new records for regulations, averaging a new regulation every 15 days during his eight years in office.
One of the first items of business passed by the new Congress was HR 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act. The legislation takes aim at the problem of overreaching federal regulation by bringing together six separate regulatory reform bills that passed the House in previous years with bipartisan support. It eliminates excessive red tape and regulations, lifting an unnecessary burden on hardworking Americans and promoting jobs, innovation, and economic growth.
Specifically, this legislation promotes transparency by requiring publication of easy-to-understand online summaries of new proposed rules, as well as proposed costs. It also requires agencies to choose the lowest-cost rulemaking alternative, permitting costlier rules only when cost-justified. It also prohibits new billion-dollar rules from taking effect until the courts and Congress have a say.
This legislation begins to reverse some of the regulatory overreach and will help our local businesses become more competitive. This legislation is a small step in the right direction, but certainly, there is more to be done.
Congress must also confront Obamacare. For too many Americans the dream of better healthcare has turned into a nightmare of skyrocketing premiums, limited choices, and cumbersome regulations. One report found that Obamacare exchanges have networks with 34 % fewer providers than those plans not part of the exchanges. I’ve heard from many of my constituents about the costs of their healthcare increasing to the point that it is simply unaffordable and unsustainable.
My constituents deserve a plan to address their healthcare needs. They need a plan that provides more choices and lower costs. In the coming months I’ll continue working toward this goal.
As always, I encourage and welcome you to contact my office at 760-247-1815 with any concerns you have about our federal government. It’s an honor to serve as your Representative.