House Speaker Paul Ryan said Congress, not un-elected bureaucrats, should be responsible for overseeing federal regulations during a press conference unveiling the GOP’s plan for regulatory reform Tuesday.
The Wisconsin Republican said Congress’ rule making process is more open compared to the lack of transparency in federal agencies, like the Department of Labor.
“There is definitely more backroom shenanigans than we would like, but the hearings are open to the public, C-SPAN records every single debate, you can read every bill online and most importantly – if you don’t like what’s going on you can change it. You can call you representative or you can vote them out,” he said, adding he chose to hold the presser between the Department of Labor and the Capitol to symbolize the contrast.
Republicans’ regulatory blueprint would eliminate the Dodd-Frank Act, the landmark Wall Street reform legislation passed in 2010, regulations put in place under the Clean Air Act and make changes to the net neutrality rules currently in place.
Ryan said agencies have failed to lay out the costs of their regulatory plans, many of which critics say are strangling economic growth and killing jobs.
“Most of us have no idea what’s going on behind those walls, the only cameras that are in there are those for security,” he said. “Maybe you can get a meeting with the deputy assistant secretary for annoying phone calls if you’re lucky – but even if you’re unhappy with their performance their not going anywhere.”
Ryan said the country needs rules, but no major regulations should be in place without Congressional approval.
The GOP’s regulatory proposal was the third installment of a six-plank agenda, titled “A Better Way.” Republicans are slated to roll out their Constitution plan Thursday and proposals for taxes and health care next week.
GOP leadership aides said “A Better Way” demonstrates strategies to accomplish party goals if Donald Trump is elected in November.
House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot, who was on the task force that created the plan, said the regulatory burden put in place by this administration, like the overtime rule, is “creating havoc” across the business world.
“We anticipate a Democrat won’t be elected this November – that the public will make the right choice, we will have to wait till November to see – but I think it’s our responsibility to work with whoever is president of either party and do it in good faith,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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