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Latham introduces legislation to create a more accountable federal regulatory process

Washington – Iowa Congressman Tom Latham introduced legislation on Thursday that would create a more accountable federal regulatory process and offer families, farmers and small businesses relief from misguided regulations that destroy jobs and create uncertainty.

The legislation, titled the “Regulatory Accountability and Economic Freedom Act,” is the result of Congressman Latham’s year-long review of the impact of the federal regulatory regime on job creation.

“Every day in Washington, armies of federal bureaucrats are drawing up new regulations, often with little coordination or understanding of the very industries they’re proposing to regulate,” Congressman Latham said.  “For America’s small businesses, it’s a never-ending struggle to keep up with the latest government mandates.  The simple truth is that we’re losing jobs because of the massive regulatory barriers to small businesses.”

Last year, the Obama administration proposed or enacted over 760 new major regulations, in more than 75,000 pages in the federal register, at a cost to the economy of $230 billion and 120 million additional hours of annual paperwork requirements.   Meanwhile it has eliminated just one rule it decided was too burdensome, determining that spilled milk should not be treated the same as an oil spill by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Congressman Latham will host roundtables with small business leaders in communities across Iowa in the coming months, beginning with a meeting in Council Bluffs on Friday.  The meetings will focus on the misguided regulations standing in the way of job growth.

The Regulatory Accountability and Economic Freedom Act contains three major features to shed sunlight on harmful federal regulations and bring accountability to the regulatory regime.

The first part of the legislation starts immediately clearing out the undergrowth of burdensome, redundant, outdated and costly federal regulations through a Red Tape Reduction Commission that is designed on the foundation of giving America’s small business owners a stronger voice.

The second major feature of the legislation mandates all federal agencies to do a cost-benefit analysis of every regulation as it is proposed to give those who are affected the proper information to comment and determine how it will affect them, and to ensure that the proposed regulation will truly provide a net benefit for the American people.

The final part of the legislation places full accountability for the federal regulatory process on the shoulders of elected government leaders.  Each new significant regulation will be required to be approved in an open roll call vote by both houses of Congress and then signed by the president before it can take effect.  The Administration will no longer be able to skirt the legislative process and overstep its constitutional authority, and lawmakers will have to answer for every regulation they supported or opposed.

“Washington has buried hardworking American small business owners under a mountain of regulations and mandates, crushing their ability to grow, invest in our communities and create jobs,” Congressman Latham said. “My legislation will bring accountability into the regulatory process and dispel the uncertainty plaguing American families, farmers and businesses.”

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