CAPITOL REPORT

In his own words, President Obama stated “We can’t wait for Congress to do its job, so where they won’t act, I will” and over past 8 years, that’s exactly what he has done at the expense of the American people. With Obama’s self-proclaimed unconstitutional approach to going around Congress to push his own liberal agenda, it is no surprise that the last 8 years have been bad for rural America and the families who make their living off the land. President Obama has issued hundreds of new major regulations since taking office, each with an estimated cost to the American economy of $100 million or more. With out of-control agencies like the EPA and IRS, rural America has been impacted tremendously by the expansion of intrusive job-killing regulations under the Obama Administration.

However, it is not enough to point to how much the Obama Administration has hurt rural America, the battle has been to stop his efforts and proactively fight for the people of southeast and south central Missouri. This year alone, I am proud to have led the charge on real initiatives that focus on reining in big government and providing relief for rural America and especially the farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and families that make up our community. My SCRUB Act was designed to remove outdated regulations and take an axe to the more than 175,000 pages of federal regulations on the books that are suffocating growth in this country. Also, after it was uncovered the IRS was spending over $500 million in collected user fees each year as a slush fund to implement Obamacare mandates instead of improving their service to taxpayers, I led the charge on the IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending (OWES) Act to return those funds to taxpayers and was pleased my House colleagues approved the legislation in April. In July, two of my amendments aimed at reining in the Department of Interior and the out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were adopted to prevent millions of taxpayer dollars from funding liberal propaganda supporting new EPA regulations and funding of radical environmental groups. I also have led the charge to make sure that not one penny is allocated to implement the disastrous Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

President-elect Trump’s commitment and passion to tear up so many of the regulations we have seen in the last 8 years is absolutely the right approach and because of the leadership I have taken to eliminate bureaucracy and red-tape I have been asked to work with the Trump Administration on this effort. I am compiling a list of agency rules and regulations that must be repealed so that true reform in Washington can be achieved and so that the farmers and families in our region can do what they do best – provide for themselves, the nation and the world. This list includes disastrous threats harming rural America like the WOTUS Rule, efforts to shut down the coal industry, restrictions on family farm and estate transfers, the Veterinary Feed Directive Rule which adds unnecessary burdens when trying to get feed for ones animals, and executive orders which have encouraged an influx in illegal and unchecked immigration.

We also have additional hope with the selection of Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt this week by President-elect Trump to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). His selection would be a win for rural America and a promising sign that relief from burdensome regulations created by the Obama Administration is coming in the near future. Pruitt shares my belief that the states should have more control, not the federal government. He will drastically shrink the imprint and size of the EPA and has been a leading legal opponent to the Obama Administrations war on coal and assault on farmers’ and ranchers water usage. He has argued against the Liberal agenda in local courts, state courts and the United States Supreme Court. I believe General Pruitt’s expertise will prove vitally important for advancing an aggressive agenda during the first 100 days of President-elect Trump’s administration.

With people in leadership like Attorney General Pruitt who are committed to fighting for rural America and for states’ rights and against an intrusive bureaucracy led by the Obama Administration over the past 8 years, I am confident that the roots in rural America are going to be in a better position to take hold and grow. We have some digging out to do, but I along with the new Trump administration and Attorney General Pruitt are ready to bring the shovels and get to work.

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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