Republicans in Congress are introducing two new bills to combat what they call the “job-killing Biden agenda.”
Republican California Rep. Darrell Issa is reintroducing the Restoring Board Immunity Act and Republican Tennessee Rep. Diana Harshbarger is introducing the Freedom to Work Act, the Daily Caller has learned. The two bills are aimed at combating President Joe Biden’s economic agenda and furthering the GOP’s mission to become the party of the working-class.
The Freedom to Work Act would require federal agencies to review and identify any federal policies that may cause state or local governments to adopt occupational licensing requirements. The bill would then require each agency to report any recommended changes to federal policy and legislation and enact the changes that are within their power. (RELATED: Biden Says Americans Need To Put Disappointing Jobs Report ‘In Perspective’)
“With return to work slowing back to a crawl under President Biden’s failing leadership, we need to look at new ways to help Americans re-enter the workforce. Many occupational licensing requirements, under the guise of consumer safety, are simply a big government power grab to prevent competition and keep would-be workers out of a particular market,” Harshbarger told the Daily Caller.
“My bill, the Freedom to Work Act, directs states and the federal government to identify unnecessary occupational licensing barriers that are preventing Americans from returning to the workplace. I’m committed to eliminating red tape that is keeping Americans out of work, and the Freedom to Work Act does just that.”
The Restoring Board Immunity Act would grant anti-trust immunity to actions by licensing boards, but only if they adopt one of two reforms designed to prevent runaway occupational licensing restrictions.
Under the first reform option, a state would have to establish day-to-day supervision of licensing authorities through a new occupational-licensing oversight board that would review occupational regulations on a regular basis. Under the second option, a state would have to create a legal cause of action to challenge occupational-licensing laws under an enhanced review standard of intermediate scrutiny.
“Government must never create barriers to competition, harm the consumer interest or interfere with anyone doing their job. This legislation is an overdue reform and will make a lasting difference in helping people across the country get back to work,” Rep. Issa told the Daily Caller.
The bills are an additional step for Republicans toward appealing to working-class voters attracted to the party by former President Donald Trump. In March, Republican Study Commission chairman Rep. Jim Banks sent a memo to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy outlining the importance of cementing the GOP as the working-class party. (RELATED: Liz Cheney Ousted From Republican Leadership Role)
“President Trump gave the Republican Party a political gift: we are now the party supported by most working class voters. The question is whether Republicans reject that gift or unwrap it and permanently become the Party of the Working Class,” the memo read.
“Last month’s lackluster jobs report proved we can’t buy full employment with taxpayer dollars. Republican Study Committee is working to find new, productive ways to get Americans back to work,” Rep. Banks told the Daily Caller. “Occupational licensing regulations allow special interests to stifle competition, harming consumers and workers alike. Reps. Harshbarger and Issa’s bills will tear down bureaucratic red tape and make America fairer and more prosperous.”