CAPITOL REPORT

The elections are over and we now know that Donald J Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. One of the key factors to his victory was a promise to stop the onslaught of Washington driven regulations and executive orders coming from the Obama White House which have crippled American farmers, families and business owners. However, with just under 62 days left in office, the Obama Administration is attempting to rush and complete high-cost, politically-driven regulations written by Washington bureaucrats bent on cementing this President’s legacy as one of the most liberal anti-business Administrations in our country’s history.

In a final attempt to implement his out of touch agenda, the exact thing the American people overwhelmingly rejected just last week, President Obama is attempting to use what are called “Midnight Rules” to usher through last minute federal regulations. During the final months of a presidential administration, the outgoing administration can achieve certain policy goals by practicing “midnight rulemaking” to create cumbersome and costly regulations that often go unchallenged by Congress. We expect over 50 potential midnight regulations could be rushed out, EACH of which could have an impact on the economy exceeding $100 million. But Congress has a message for the Obama Administration; NOT SO FAST Mr. President.

Since President Obama took office, nearly 3,000 new regulations have been finalized, costing more than $850 billion. Under the Obama Administration, the number of pages in the Code of Federal Regulations has grown to a whopping 175,268, resulting in 563 million hours of paperwork. In fact, during Obama’s first five years in office alone, federal agencies added 17,522 pages of regulations, averaging a staggering 3,504 per year. The worst part of this is how much these regulations are costing hardworking Americans across the country. On average, federal regulations under the Obama Administration cost $15,000 per American household every year.

Americans simply cannot afford anymore regulations – they are suffocating our economy. That is why I was proud to support legislation this week that will stop the Obama Administration from continuing to harm hardworking Americans. The Midnight Rules Relief Act, passed by the House of Representatives will prohibit the use of midnight rules, stopping President Obama’s last ditch efforts to fulfill floundering campaign promises. This bill amends the Congressional Review Act which has been in place since 1996, to allow Congress to disapprove multiple rules with one vote as opposed to only one rule at a time. The Congressional Review Act gives Congress 60 legislative days to review and override major regulations enacted by federal agencies of the outgoing administration. This act was passed 20 years ago and was used successfully by the Bush Administration in 2001 to dismantle the lame duck Clinton Administration from implementing the ergonomics rule proposed under Clinton’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that was projected to cost upwards of $123 billion per year. The Midnight Rules Relief Act will strengthen the Congressional Review Act and is an important tool at our disposal to continue to dismantle the Obama regulatory machine.

This is the type of regulation reform that America deserves and is what’s needed to help pave the way for President-Elect Trump who has pledged to do what is necessary in order to unleash American potential. Hardworking Missourians have grown fed up with out of control government bureaucracy and red tape. Farmers and business owners are now spending more time complying with regulations written by a bureaucrat who has never set foot on a farm or signed the front of a paycheck than tending to their land, growing their business or hiring American workers. When I met with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence this week, the top of his list was how the new administration is going to work to find real solutions to the most important issues facing hardworking Americans. The Obama Administration’s top-down, big-government, Washington-knows-best approach to government over the past 8 years is finally coming to an end. I look forward to working with the incoming Trump Administration to put our country back on track by delivering meaningful solutions that actually address the real problems Americans are facing.

Jason Smith represents Missouri’s 8th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Contact him at 573-335-0101 or visit https://jasonsmith.house.gov

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