By Congressman Will Hurd
The last thing my constituents want is more vague and confusing government regulations that come at the expense of hardworking families and small businesses. But a punishing, ever-increasing morass of red tape forces small and family-owned businesses to spend countless hours, dollars and resources on compliance, instead of doing what they do best – build their business. This means fewer jobs for American workers and slower growth for our economy.
That is why I’m fighting in Congress to do what small business owners in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas really want Washington to do – get out of their way.
Last month, I joined colleagues from both sides of the aisle to pass the REINS Act, which requires all federal regulations with an annual cost of over $100 million to be approved by Congress before implementation. This will prevent a faceless bureaucracy from creating an overly burdensome regulatory environment. Last week, I expressed formal disapproval of several new regulations proposed by federal agencies, including one that regulates streams on private property. I even co-sponsored another Resolution that disapproves of confusing social security rules that affect seniors’ Second Amendment Rights.
The new Administration took steps in the right direction last week with an Executive Order to reduce the number of unnecessary regulations that remain on the books. Under the order, if a federal agency such as the EPA, proposes a new rule, it must also identify two rules that should be removed. This is a commonsense reform that many other governments around the world use to cut down on the number of outdated regulations that often go unenforced, and remain part of the federal code.
The truth is that burdensome rules and regulations stand to negatively affect every American in one way or another – but the agriculture industry typically feels the impact to a greater degree. Under EPA overreach, many of the common, every-day practices of farming and ranching have suddenly required federal permits. In the past, I voted to stop funding for new EPA rules that would have created more burdensome and unnecessary regulations for dry creek beds and ditches located on family owned farms and ranches. The uncertainty behind these complex federal rules means that farmers and ranchers have to operate at continuous risk of incurring fines or facing government lawsuits.
These rules affect you even if you are not a farmer or a rancher. When you consume food and clothing products, be prepared to pay more as production costs increase to remain compliant with the rules.
Our nation does not need more government interference. What we need is for the full force of American small business owners and entrepreneurs to be unleashed. And the best thing that Washington can do to help is remove the obstacles we’ve created and then let businesses do what they’re best at – growing the economy and creating jobs. I’m proud to report that we are doing just that.