Journalism in the Public Interest

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

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.

Well, here go the Republicans….catering to Big Business as usual!!  A lot of those regulations were enacted to protect citizens…but they are only out to protect their own interests!!  Just what I anticipated when they got the majority and it can only get worse!

Mr. Issa is a multi-millionaire who ironically made his millions (apparently honestly I might add, with an invention, not by brokering something)due exclusively to a public need for people to adhere to government regulations which he now decries. Unfortunately, Mr. Issa since being elected is a hack for big business and it is indeed unfortunate that Mr. Issa after making his fortume on a value added basis has yet to realize the difference between government regulations that protect the millions of people that bought his invention from the regulations that decay society.

Marshall Thompson

Jan. 4, 2011, 4 p.m.

Didi, it is bigger and more important than your simplistic partisan political attack. There needs to be a balance struck between regulation and economics growth.  In California, for example, there is a unique global warming law passed years ago that will effectively knock off the construction industry killing one million jobs.  Laws protecting the small fish in the Sacramento Delta region have resulted in 40% farm unemployment throughout central California.  This is particularly galling since the water there is used to flush out human waste from the oh-so-environmentally-aware San Fransisco residents.  One regulation that could help is to abolish green lawns in So Cal since such a huge %age of our imported water goes to watering lawns, a stupid waste.

Gotta love this Jobs Über Alles mentality.  We could probably create a lot of new jobs for hitmen if we just removed those pesky murder laws we have in place.  Or how about burglars?  We’re just killing the economy if we don’t make home invasion legal!  Tell you what, I’ll support the removal of regulations designed to protect the air that I breathe and the water that I drink if we can funnel all of the effluent liquids and gases into Darrell Issa’s front yard.  After all, they’re totally harmless, right?  Just a big scam cooked up by academic elitists and liberals?

An absurd and unworthy comment by the anonymous Essy Bee.

As an Orthodox Christian, as is Rep. Issa, we are to live a life of stewardship.  Our Christian education instructs us to protect God’s Creation - the earth and our environment.  Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is known as the “Green Patriarch” for his great works to protect our environment.  I want to see Rep. Issa be known as the “Green Congressional Representative.”  Only with this title can he be true to Orthodoxy and a real standout leader of the American people.  Rep. Issa is an intelligent man.  I am confident that he can both protect our environment as well as create laws that will encourage job creation.

Does this surprise anyone?

Heheh, being called out for my anonymity in a comment on a public-facing news article by the super-specific “MT”.  I’ll go ahead and assume that’s short for Marshall Thompson.  Again, quite specific there.  Care to post your CV, driver’s license, birth certificate, financial records, etc?  Or would you actually like to debate my point instead of resorting to your far more unworthy ad hominem?  You seemed somewhat rational with your “strike a balance” angle from above, but the bad regulation you describe tend to be more rare and anecdotal in nature.  How much do you want to bet that the firms Rep. Issa wrote to will go with “all of them” in their responses about what regulations they don’t like.  The point is that most regulations are in place for a reason - and what is often a very, very good reason.  Have people already completely forgotten the results of the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the fact that no 3rd party loan originators were regulated?  No amount of job growth justifies the removal or suspension of regulations that provide essential benefits and guarantees that we often take for granted.

A scene from back home—-

“Mr. Fox, does that fence slow your passage through the Hen house?” asked Representative Issa.

“Yes sir, Mr. Congressman” sobbed Mr. Fox.“In fact it cuts into my supply sources…”

Rep Issa continues the same double talk as his GOP colleagues. They do not rely on facts they simply want to make people THINK they will ease their burden when all they are looking for are inputs to support their attacks on the current administration. If they are serious, they should show what they did during the Bush era that will justify their claims now. I believe that their TALK is as empty (meaningless) as has been before.


we had 8 years of de-regulation, so where are all those jobs it was supposedly going to create?  All i saw was higher upper level salaries increased

To add to Ted’s comment…just like lowering the taxes on the wealthiest Americans creates jobs.  Trickle down is BS too

Can anyone provide the source for Issa’s construction company closings and job loss

Even the asking is a bogus publicity stunt; Issa knows exactly what “Business-with-a-capital-B” wants killed (else he wouldn’t have received any campaign financing from them):

a)  Any requirement to maintain clear and comprehensible financial records

b)  Any requirements to protect the consumer

c)  Any requirement having to do with minimum wages, maximum hours worked, overtime pay, or worker safety that present a cost to the business

d)  Any requirement to declare income earned offshore

lollll…I forgot one, and a real big one at that:

e)  Any requirement to protect the public or the environment from toxic emissions or waste byproducts from any activity the business should engage in

This guy’s going to be a lulu. He’s a publicity hound and will use his new-found power to his political advantage.

So we just got rid of DeLay, (or rather, he got rid of himself) who made his money killing cockroaches in Baytown, TX. Now the next GOP congressional loudmouth is a San Diego guy who sells car alarms.

I wish I knew what he drove. I’d steal his car.  ROTF…

In summary, what business wants is the ability to attain the highest possible profit.

To achieve that, they want the right - without becoming culpable - to kill you with overwork, dangerous products, and pollution - to enhance their bottom line, they want to make you a disposable nothing.

Oh, and they don’t want to pay taxes, either.

Richard Foley

Jan. 4, 2011, 6:22 p.m.

Public Perjury: Is my term for Political BS:

George Orwell wrote a most applicable description of this ilk.
I have broken into separate lines the poetry of his prose that foresaw the condition of our current politics.

According to George Orwell’s 1949 Novel:

“To know and

not to know,

to be conscious of complete truthfulness

while telling carefully constructed lies,

to hold simultaneously

two opinions which canceled out,

knowing them to be contradictory

and believing in both of them,

to use logic against logic,

to repudiate morality

while laying claim to it,

to believe that democracy was impossible

and that the Party was the guardian of democracy,

to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget,

then to draw it back into memory again

at the moment when it was needed,

and then promptly to forget it again,

and above all,

to apply the same process

to the process itself —

that was the ultimate subtlety;

consciously to induce unconsciousness,

and then,

once again,

to become unconscious

of the act of hypnosis

you had just performed.

Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’

involved the use of

doublethink.. “

Robert Penick

Jan. 4, 2011, 6:36 p.m.

GOP gives lip service to the american people about the mandate of the midterm elections.  Then they turn to their main contributors: “businesses, trade groups and think tanks” and, leading the witnesses, ask what government can do to reduce the regulations demanded by the american people. That’s the way it works. folks.
Issa, how about sending a letter to the regulating agencies of our government asking what they need to reverse the sad state of regulation in this country.  The need is evident and great.
I’ll name a few instances:
* SEC - tons of malfeasance on their watch, no significant fines or convictions.
* Mortgage GSE’s - fines to discourage high default rates are easily categorized as the cost of doing business; close-downs of offending lenders easily thwarted by startups having the same officers, same street address, same phone numbers, same crooked business.
* Ratings agencies - rate the quality of investment products for the institutions that pay them. 
* Accounting firms - turn a blind eye to companies who sell of toxic assets during audits and buy them back when the audit is over.
* Auto manufactoring regulators - too cozy with the regulated firms.
* Off-shore drilling regualtors - too cozy with the regulated firms.
* Mining regulators - plenty of violations noted, no effective response to repeat offenders.
Give us a break!
Basically, we have organizations, regulations and people, both public and private, in place to do good things, but a dearth of moral fiber is making most of it come to naught.  What is going to turn that around?

Jack M. Risewick

Jan. 4, 2011, 6:39 p.m.

Mr. Issa:  If you really and truly want to make a contribution to the country you were elected to serve try to focus your efforts on improving trade policies that will help US corporations while not destroying the planet we live on.  You need not drink a gallon of rocket science juice to know that the playing field is not level but if you succumb to the suggestions you get from Corporate USA, there will be no playing field left

The Dems need to get in gear and win the house back!

The comments about a balance between economic growth and regulation are uniformed and clueless.  So, if we could grow our economy, we should dismantle regulations that allows corporations to pour mercury out their back door?  Washington prostitutes favors to corporations in return for money.  That means the vast majority of our regulations are not regulations at all.  They are rules paid for by corporations to rig markets and defeat competition.  Why do you think they pay billions for them?  For their great altruisim?  We need effective regulation.  It is the rule of law our country is built upon.  Regulations are the rules of law applied to economics.  Issa represents a corrupt Washington culture currying favor before the court of politicians as Kings did in 1776.

WOW. I did not know so many people felt as I.

Lorraine is right! We need to get our BUTTS in gear. Thanks Loraine.

WOW. I did not know so many people felt as I.

Lorraine is right! We need to get in gear to find our allies that will help the average guy. Thanks Loraine.

good comments
Let’s wait and see what “this” congress does.  A majority of us thought that this is the way to go.  We’ll see…

at the end of the day, if these guys and gals do better, then they may deserve to come back.  But we get to decide…

We need a lot of stuff, but there is no free lunch, and whatever we want should be paid for.  That’s just the way it is…

You know, Rome lasted a long time, and we are still so young!...

you are welcome John!

Donald Broder

Jan. 4, 2011, 9:30 p.m.

I believe Mr. Issa has polled the petroleum companies including BP.  Certainly it must have been over-regulation which caused the blowout of the gulf drilling rig and the pollution of such a vast area.  Similarly, he will no doubt be urging less regulation of financial firms which have done such a stellar job keeping the financial system stable.  The astounding thing for me remains the fact that these people get voters to drink the Kool-Aid.

Nissim Sasson

Jan. 4, 2011, 10:36 p.m.

Why Mr Issa sends letters to more than 150 people Instead, to see how corporation abuses, corporations sending jobs overseas Fraud-Closures, Bank abuses are affecting their lives? he was elected by the people not by business


Jan. 4, 2011, 11 p.m.

I am not surprise at all of Mr Issa ‘s actions the reason? here are some examples:
“We’re here to ‘serve the banks,’ incoming Financial Services Committee chairman declares
Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus
Rep. Barton apologizes to BP, right after the Gulf Coast oil spill that affected thousand of people of people
Republicans threatened to stop the extension of the middle class tax cuts if the president did not accept taking on $700 billion in debt to provide tax cuts for the richest Americans.
So do yo think Republicans are for the American people? But well.. now they are in power thanks to people voting against their own interest
It was no enough that the Republicans destroyed this country in 8 years but people have a very short memory after only 2 years they put them back in power, so is anybody surprise?

When is Mr. Issa going to send letters to the gangs in Los Angeles requesting input on which laws hinder their success at dealing drugs and conducting extortion?

Sorry, I am not willing to drink polluted water, breath polluted air, eat poisoned food, or kill helpless animals so I can have a job.  What good is a job, if another company can cheat me out of my money by selling incorrectly labeled or just plain bad products?

No surprises here. We have a reactionary government and a reactionary voting base what small part of it actually exercises it’s right. Seems as tho anytime regulation is mentioned so goes the loss of jobs mentioned. How many jobs were lost at the expense of deregulation? Wouldn’t regulations that force the big businesses to be more environmentally and consumer friendly create jobs?  The fox has opened the gate & door of the hen house to let the other foxes in to eat the chickens (US).
As far as either party goes so goes lobbying and special interests only I feel the republicans are more mean spirited. My social security tax this yr. cost me a piece of equipment that I could use to recreate my small, small business (construction manufacturing) in a different direction. Guess I’ll have to pay it and not a politician directly to stop this encroachment on my ability to keep myself employed up to my retirement in marble-town or employ someone else.

I’m curious what sort of “deregulation” alters the reality that U.S MNCorps can hire engineers in China for example at $730 per month and entice them to hire engineers at about 10 times that rate here in the US instead?  High Tech Research Moves from US to China: ;

You people need to understand that we have homeless people out here that needs a place to stay but you are constantly giving money to these so called hi-paying people that rather put the money in thier pocket then pay the bill.If I had the power you all have I would investigate frist befor lending out all this money to people you never investigated on buying a home that they would never going to pay for in the first place.  Its hard for me to find a job let alone a place to live.You all spend your money on anything & everything and don’t think what happens to you if you don’t save some for a day that you might not have that job tomorrow and then you barrow and barrow until your so far in debt that you can’t pay for anything.

Why are we so far in debt is because to many people barrow when they can’t pay back what they have in bills now.The goverment doesn’t care because you high ranking people do nothing but complain about all your other problems when the president also needs to look at this more carefully that businesses are shutting there doors because of the fact that no one really cares what they have ,so they barrow more and deeper in debt.What if you wake up one morning and your so called job isn’t there anymore?What are you going to do then?Life is hard,but when your homeless it is even harder for you to get by without someone always feeling sorry for you or these people out here don’t give a helping hand because they are better then anyone else,so they think.If people would stop and think about this problem we have now,just think for a minute,what would happen if you was working and at the end of the day you go home then wake up the next morning and go to work and your boss says to you we don’t need your services anymore,then what are you going to do then?People barrow money everyday just because they don’t know why they are barrowing the money for when they can remorgage thier home and save for a rainy day that they don’t know what might happen later on in that week or month.

Ho Hum!
The “State of America”....
“Follow the money!”
The trail leads to our government and our “elected” officials…...


Jan. 5, 2011, 11:42 a.m.

I live in Camden Tennessee and I know more about this than ANY of you stupid liberals ever will!

Really Really: Gee you left out all you know from your post.Guess you couldn’t figure out how to condense all that “intelligence”. By the way, I’m a moderate liberal.

Quit the bickering! Not everything is so black and white. “Really Really”: I am certainly not a liberal, and I am MOST certainly not a conservative….does that mean I have NO opinion? Thanks Ron for pointing out that our friend up top forgot to mention all that great experiential knowledge he/she has.

I hope Issa does a competent job. I have my doubts (lots of doubts), but corruption ANYWHERE is bad. D’s and R’s.

Darrell Issa is going to kick butt.  The Democrats have been like five year olds in a candy store.  Hate to break it to you lefties, but “big (bad) business” is what helps drive the economy, as well as small business.  I’m all for reasonable regulations but it seems to be one or the other. The left want to regulate everyting to death the right wants little to no regulation.  It’s absurd.  Where is the common sense?!?

By the way, Rep. Issa has been one of the few Congressman to consistently push the issue of Obama’s birth certificate issue.  Where is that pesky original long form birth certificate Barry?!?  We have a FRAUD acting as our president!  Why does this not bother more people?!?!?!?!?!?

Mr. GOP Oversight Chairman:  The LACK of regulation burdens me, because I have to keep working after 65 and 10 mo., because of the losses my 401k has taking by the gambling practices of the bankers on Wall Street.

I have my birth certificate.  Do you know the difference between reason and paranoia created by political terrorism?

I speak as a businessman, a small building contractor. Mr. Issa has not asked me. I would tell him, remove the massive overhead burden that I carry in having to administer and pay for the medical insurance program. I need the public option.
Regulate and divest the very big banks. My industry depends entirely on our customers being able to borrow money, and the competition has narrowed again, giving the biggest banks more pricing power.
I need the fall of wages to be stopped. As wages have declined in my industry, as the unions have been destroyed, the quality of people looking for work in construction has declined to the point that nothing is saved by cutting wages.
We need to begin to restore ourselves as a nation of laws. Consumer confidence cannot fully return when we see such flagrant selling out in washington, so much law breaking among the powerful going unpunished.
I need my nation to stop spending on wars the world over. Build trains. Build bridges. Get back to work. We are making ourselves like Afghanistan, where generations of war have sent them back to the stone age.

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