National Journal: Cummings One of Four to Watch During the Regulations Debate

July 24, 2012
Articles and Columns
National Journal: Cummings One of Four to Watch During the Regulations Debate

In a vote set for later this week that's not likely to get beyond the House, members will spar over the utility of federal regulations on businesses.

Members began to lay the groundwork for that debate Monday at a Rules Committee hearing on the GOP measure. Republicans argued the bill will cut red tape facing businesses and create jobs while Democrats suggested if the measure became law U.S. consumers could be imperiled.

So what will the congressmen be arguing when H.R. 4078 comes to the floor later this week? Members offered a preview on Monday.

Let's take a look.

Democratic Arguments

• Bye-Bye Safety Net: Democrats will argue the bill would hobble the federal regulatory safety net. "Regulations save lives. ... This is a direct attack on the regulatory system," Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings said on Monday.

• The Backdoor to Undoing Regs: Because Republicans would not be able to undo each regulation one at a time, the party is trying to undo them in one fell swoop. "You're gonna knock down hundreds of regulations that you would never have been able to do," said Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ed Markey.

Republican Arguments

• Bureaucrats Run 'Amok': Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa made the case that it's not the quantity of regulations that is harming business but that a report from his committee shows that "federal bureaucrats are in fact running amok" and the consequence is costing the economy jobs.

• There's a Presidential Loophole: Republicans made the point a couple of times Monday night that the measure allows the president to permit regulations to take effect in cases involving matters of national security or public health. So, not to worry, they'll argue.