Ranking Member Waxman's Floor Statement on H.R. 4078, the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act of 2012
Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman spoke on the House floor today in opposition to H.R. 4078, the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act of 2012.
The full text of his remarks is below and also available online here.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this bill.
All year, the House Republicans have brought extreme bills to this floor to repeal commonsense safeguards. In fact, we have voted over 280 times this Congress to repeal or undermine landmark environmental laws like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
That is not what the American people want.
But the legislation we are debating today takes this assault to a new level. It halts virtually all regulation until unemployment drops below 6%. I don’t see it. We are going to have an unprecedented attack on critical public health, safety, and economic protections? We’re going to let the marketplace solve all problems?
This bill would undermine Medicare by preventing the issuance of updated reimbursement rates and denying hospitals and clinics hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicare payments, because these are regulations, as well.
It would jeopardize the food supply by blocking produce safety rules that would prevent contaminated food from showing up on our local grocery store shelves.
It stops broadly supported tailpipe rules for cars and trucks that will save consumers money, slash pollution, and cut our dependence on foreign oil.
It blocks rules to ensure health care quality and raise the bar for provider performance.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, this legislation could even delay incentive auctions of spectrum by the FCC. These auctions will raise billions of dollars to build out the public safety communications system. This is a clear example of how this bill will kill jobs, not create them, and increase, not reduce, the deficit.
Madam Chair, a lot of regulations are important, and a lot of regulations create jobs. But we hear over and over again, oh we can’t burden the job creators with regulations. When we put regulations in place, it’s for a reason. There is a reason we ought to let the regulations go forward and not stop them all, as this bill would do. The reasons are to protect the public health and safety. The reasons are to have a Medicare system that is up to date. The reasons are to make sure that our financial institutions have rules that apply to them and we don’t let them make the decisions on their own. They may be job creators, but they were job destroyers in 2008.
Republicans say they want to cut red tape, but this legislation doesn’t cut red tape. It makes the rest of the government just like the House of Representatives – dysfunctional and unresponsive to the nation’s pressing problems.
I urge my colleagues to vote against this bill. I urge the American people to watch carefully who votes for it.
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