Today, the House will vote on the bipartisan REINS Act that will rein in overbearing regulations and is a key part of our jobs plan. The goals of our regulatory reform plan are twofold: to repeal pending regulations that are harming economic growth and job creation and to fundamentally improve the federal rulemaking process. This fall, the House repealed costly regulations proposed by the EPA and the NLRB and improved the rulemaking process with the passage of the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act and The Regulatory Accountability Act. The REINS Act is a culmination of our effort to make common sense reforms to rulemaking by requiring Congress to vote on any regulation that would have an economic impact of $100 million or more. We are focused on passing legislation that has the support of both parties to boost economic growth and spur job creation. The President has said he supports reforming the regulatory process, and we hope he will join us to remove the burdens facing businessmen and women, so they can invest, expand and create jobs.
Breaking Ground With Social Media: Today Leader Cantor and Whip Hoyer will host the first-ever Congressional Hackathon from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, DC. The event will bring together members of Congress, congressional staffers, Facebook engineers and software developers to discuss ways social media can improve the legislative process. For more information, please click here.
Today In History: In 1941, at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii Time, the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan leading to the U.S. entering World War II.
• Read Leader Cantor’s Statement Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor HERE
Birthdays: Rep. Duncan Hunter, Sen. Susan Collins, Harry Chapin, Sara Bareilles, Larry Bird, Terrell Owens, Shiri Appleby and Diana Cantor
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ….
State Of Play: President Obama Calls For Higher Taxes, Puts Washington In Control Of Determining Opportunity
Majority Leader Cantor: The Focus Needs To Be On Increasing Income Mobility, Not Penalizing Success. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) said he agreed with much of Mr. Obama's diagnosis of the problems in the American economy, but not with his remedies, such as increasing taxes on wealthier Americans. "Where we ought to be focused is increasing income mobility," he said. "You don't accomplish that by taking away from those who have been successful." The Wall Street Journal
We’ve Heard That Before … Leader Cantor Points Out That President Obama Has Adopted The Use Of “Fair Shot.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told the National Journal that his party wants to help everybody, rich and poor alike. "It doesn't help to penalize success," he said. Cantor noted that Obama spoke of a "fair shot" for Americans, a phrase Cantor himself has long used in his own speeches. National Journal
• Same Words, Different Meaning: President Obama Uses Leader Cantor’s Language On “Fair Shot,” But Pushes To Put Washington In Charge Of Determining Opportunity. President Obama sought to channel President Roosevelt at a major speech in Kansas. As it turns out, he’s channeled another Republican by using the exact same “fair shot” theme that Majority Leader Cantor has been discussing for the past year. Republicans want everyone to have a fair shot at earning their success, but the President is calling for tax increases, government controlled equality of outcomes and sweeping changes that will put Washington in charge of determining opportunity. Read More HERE
WaPo Fact Checker: Three Pinocchios For President Obama’s Use Of “Suspect Facts” In His Kansas Speech. Obama certainly inherited an economic mess, and we have argued he does not deserve blame for the massive loss of jobs early in his administration. But it seems odd to keep blaming poor job growth on the Bush tax cut, especially because Obama himself pushed through a nearly $1-trillion stimulus and took other actions that have affected the economy, for better or worse. … The president does not need to lard his case with such suspect data. There are few independent tax analysts who have much good to say about the Bush tax cuts. But it is difficult for Obama to justify blaming those tax cuts for being mostly responsible for today’s slow job growth, especially when he wants to retain a good chunk of those tax cuts. To bolster his case about unfairness, the president is also relying on a suspect statistic about billionaires paying as little as one percent in taxes. Even if true, it is a clearly a rare event. Moreover, it is certainly surprising the White House would rely on such a dubious, unverified source for a major presidential address. The Washington Post
State Of Play (2): House Prepares To Provide Regulatory Relief To Small Business, Boost Economic Growth, and Spur Job Creation
Whip McCarthy, Chief Deputy Whip Roskam Call On Senate Democrats To Listen To Small Business Owners and Provide Regulatory Relief. Appropriate and responsible regulations are important, helping to keep us safe and our environment clean. Yet Washington has become a red-tape factory stunting job creation with a dizzying amount of federally imposed regulations written by unaccountable bureaucrats with little or no regard for the jobs each will cost. … The sheer amount and breadth of the administration’s proposed regulations make it impossible to address each and every one. Yet we can take action to stop the most excessive and economically-devastating regulations. Right now, the Obama Administration has 4,257 new regulations in the works, 219 of which will cost over $100 million annually – 15 percent more than last year. At a time when job creators are fighting to survive in an already tough economy, thousands of additional regulations will only result in significantly fewer jobs – hitting small businesses particularly hard. … For businesses with fewer than 20 employees, the per-employee cost was $10,585 — 36 percent higher than larger businesses. Washington needs to be removing barriers to small-business job creation, not adding more roadblocks to recovery. … This is why House Republicans devoted much of the fall legislative calendar to regulations. Today’s REINS Act will be the 15th specific House-passed regulatory-relief bill. Not one has been voted on by the U.S. Senate, even though job creators tell Congress that Washington regulations are destroying their businesses and in turn their employees’ careers. It’s long past time that the Senate votes on these bipartisan bills that would immediately remove barriers to job creation. It’s what American job creators need. National Review Online
Rep. Geoff Davis, Sen. Rand Paul: REINS Act Would Rein In Overzealous Regulators. Rep. Federal administrative agencies issued 3,271 new regulations in 2010, or roughly nine regulations per day. Small businesses spend an estimated $10,500 per employee to comply with federal regulations, a considerable burden on the private sector’s ability to create jobs at a time of continued economic struggles. … We believe it is time for Congress to resume its constitutional duty to make the law and then be held accountable for the details. That is why we have introduced the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act. The REINS Act would require Congress to hold an up-or-down vote on any major regulation, with an annual economic impact of more than $100 million. The president would also have to sign the regulation before it could be enforced on the American people, job creators or state and local governments. Every major regulation would be voted on within a specified amount of time, forcing Members of Congress to take a stand and be held accountable for major regulations with a significant economic impact. … In an era of high unemployment and out-of-control federal spending, Congress can no longer shirk its responsibility to the American people by allowing the unaccountable growth of the regulatory state. The REINS Act would be a major step forward in returning to a constitutional, responsible legislative and regulatory framework, and we urge our colleagues in both chambers to pass this bill. Roll Call
Editorial: REINS Act – A Much Needed Reform. President Obama is threatening to veto the House GOP's set of regulatory reforms, which given his record and march through the Federal Register is a sterling endorsement. The three bills—two have already passed, and the House will vote on the most important measure today—would represent the largest overhaul of the rule-making process and larger administrative state since Ronald Reagan, and perhaps longer. In a speech in Osawatomie, Kansas yesterday, Mr. Obama excoriated the ostensible Republican philosophy that he said favors "weakening oversight and accountability," but these reforms are designed to increase oversight and accountability. Mr. Obama seems to oppose them because they require Congress and the White House to take responsibility for the costs they impose on the private economy. Contrary to the new liberal theme that regulations don't matter, those costs are real and growing rapidly. … The legislation known by the acronym Reins would require Congressional and Presidential approval of all "major regulations," those costing more than $100 million a year. In practice this reform would produce far more sensible and moderate regulation than we've seen out of this Administration so far, while also serving as a check on future political branches. The other two bills would change administrative procedures to more transparently and accurately measure costs and benefits. The Wall Street Journal
51%: Majority Of Americans Disapprove Of The Job President Obama Is Doing. President Obama’s job approval rating has ticked down to 41 percent in Gallup's latest daily tracking poll, with his disapproval at 51 percent. It's a drop from where the president stood at the beginning of December, and reflects the widest gap between the president's approval and disapproval numbers in Gallup's polling in recent weeks. The Hill