Politics

Cantor calls for repeal of Obama administration’s ‘job-destroying regulations’

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Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

House Republicans are poised to take on the Obama administration’s “job-destroying regulations” when Congress reconvenes shortly after Labor Day.

In a memo to GOP members on Monday morning, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor outlined what he and other Republican leaders consider the “top 10 most harmful” Obama administration regulations. Citing recommendations from committee chairmen, Cantor called for the repeal of those regulations and offered a “selective calendar” timeframe for doing so.

“These regulations are reflective of the types of costly bureaucratic handcuffs that Washington has imposed upon business people who want to create jobs,” Cantor wrote to his caucus.

Regulations that Cantor specifically targets include the National Labor Relations Board’s case against The Boeing Company, new Environmental Protection Agency ozone and coal rules and “grandfathered health plans” rules stemming from the president’s health care overhaul.

The NLRB alleges Boeing committed an unfair labor practice when it opened a new production line in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, instead of in Washington State, where Boeing has traditionally operated. The International Association of Machinists union argues that Boeing located the assembly line in South Carolina to avoid labor laws, even though no Washington State employees have lost their jobs as result of the decision.

To stop the NLRB’s case against Boeing, Cantor recommends “H.R. 2587, the Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act, sponsored by Rep. Tim Scott (SC).” The GOP leader says Scott’s bill “would take the common sense step of preventing the NLRB from restricting where an employer can create jobs in the United States.”

Another NLRB rule Cantor criticizes is the pro-union “quickie elections” regulation it proposed this summer. The NLRB is expected to soon finalize its rule allowing unions to hold workplace elections just 7–10 days after petitioning for one. Traditionally, unionization elections in the workplace happen at least three to six weeks after unions petitioned for one. Cantor says the “quickie elections” rule, if passed as expected, would “increase labor costs and uncertainty for nearly all private employers in the U.S.”

Though no specific House legislation has yet been offered to address the “quickie elections” rule, Cantor said he expects a bill to come forward soon.

Cantor also slammed several new EPA “maximum achievable control technology,” or MACT, regulations. Basically, MACT rules lower the accepted levels of pollution any regulated entity can emit into the environment. Some MACT standards affect coal power plants and others impact facilities with on-site boilers. A few other MACT rules regulate cement plants.

The EPA has ignored warnings, including some from within the Obama administration, that its MACT regulations would have a widespread and devastating economic impact. In his memo, Cantor said legislation from Republican Reps. Morgan Griffith of Virginia and John Sullivan of Oklahoma would force the EPA to address the economic impacts of its MACT regulations.

Other EPA regulations Cantor attacked include soon-to-be-introduced ozone standard readjustments, revised standards for particulate matter or “Farm Dust” levels, and new rules on greenhouse gas levels.

Cantor also sniped at new regulations on “grandfathered health plans,” those plans people had before the president’s health care law took effect. Cantor notes Obama’s promise that Americans who liked their existing health care plans could keep them.

“Now, the Obama Administration has been issuing further restrictions against those previously protected plans,” Cantor wrote. “The result, by the Administration’s own estimates, will be a loss of 49 to 80 percent of small employer plans, 34 to 64 percent of large employer plans, and 40 to 67 percent of individual insurance plans.”

President Obama is set to unveil his own jobs plan in early September. While little has been revealed about the plan, it reportedly includes a “national infrastructure bank” whose role would be to stimulate the economy through government spending on construction projects.

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