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GOP’s New Oversight Chair Asks Businesses Which Regulations Burden Them

A letter from Rep. Darrell Issa asks businesses and trade groups to help identify regulations his Oversight committee should target.

1/6: This post has been updated.

We’ve noted that many of the incoming Republican chairs of powerful House committees have criticized the Obama administration’s “job-killing” regulation of the financial and energy sectors, among others.

One of these, Rep. Darrell Issa, has sent letters to more than 150 businesses, trade groups and think tanks calling for their input on which regulations are burdening them and hurting jobs, Politico reports. From the text of the letter, which NBC has posted:

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is examining existing and proposed regulations that negatively impact the economy and jobs.

In fiscal year 2010, federal agencies promulgated 43 major new regulations. These regulations ranged from new limits on “effluent” discharges to new rules for Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations. The new limits on “effluent” discharges from construction sites will cost $810.8 million annually resulting in the closure of 147 construction firms and the loss of 7,257 jobs. In total, the administration estimated the cost, often referred to as the hidden tax, of the 43 new regulations to be approximately $28 billion, the highest single year increase in estimated burden on record, resulting in thousands of lost jobs. This new burden is on top of the $1.75 trillion estimated burden of existing regulations.

As a trade organization comprised of members that must comply with the regulatory state, I ask for your assistance in identifying existing and proposed regulations that have negatively impacted job growth in your members’ industry. Additionally, suggestions on reforming identified regulations and the rulemaking process would be appreciated. Please submit your response as soon as possible, preferably before January 10, 2010. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office at ...

The National Association of Manufacturers and the National Petrochemicals and Refiners Association, two groups that received letters, told Politico that in their responses to Issa they pointed to new EPA greenhouse gas rules as an example of burdensome regulation.

As we’ve written, since being named as the incoming chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Issa has sought to allay fears that he will use his new position—which includes subpoena authority—to initiate partisan investigations. He’s already requested information from many administration officials as well.

“Asking a question shouldn’t be labeled as partisan or political,” his spokesman told Politico. He also said that with their letters soliciting feedback on regulation, “[it] was a broad net that we cast.”

Update: The Hill has posted the full list of recipients of businesses and groups that received Issa's letters.

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