Steve's Blog

There’s Hope

On Monday, President Trump said he wants to get rid of 75% of them. Shortly after he was elected, he said for every new one, we should get rid of two of them. What are these things that our new President dislikes so much? Government regulations. And he’s absolutely right.

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I’m Chairman of the House Small Business Committee. I’ve been a member of the committee for 20 years now. And the biggest complaint I hear from small businesses, from all over the country, is how much red tape and paperwork they have to deal with from federal, state, and local governments.

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Perhaps the biggest regulatory intrusion, on both individuals and businesses in recent times, has been Obamacare. It has resulted in costs to the healthcare consumer going up year after year. Deductibles which must be met before insurance coverage pays for anything, have also been going through the roof, so even though some people have insurance, at least on paper, it doesn’t really cover anything. And that promise that “if you like your doctor, or you like your insurance plan, you can keep them” hasn’t been true for an awful lot of Americans. Fortunately, President Trump and the Republican Congress, are committed to repealing Obamacare, and replacing it with something better. It can’t happen quickly enough.

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Obamacare is a regulation that’s gotten a lot of attention in recent years. But there were so many new regulations that came into existence during the Obama Administration, that most of them you probably never even heard of. Here are some you may have missed. You may know that the government now regulates what kind of lightbulb you can buy, but did you know that your friendly federal government now even regulates Christmas lights, including “wreaths, stars, and animated figures”? Washington also regulates whether you can take a pot-bellied pig on a plane with you for “emotional support.” And perhaps most importantly, climate change zealots made sure that the federal government is on the job regulating none other than “cow flatulence.” (Yes, that’s exactly what you think it is.) So you and your loved ones can sleep comfortably knowing that your federal government is watching out for you.

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Is there any reason for hope? Yes. One of the first pieces of legislation to pass the new Congress (on January 11th) was a bill I authored called the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act. I know, that’s a mouthful, but what it does is pretty straightforward. It would require that any rule or regulation that the federal bureaucracy is thinking about imposing on small businesses, would have to consider both the direct and indirect impact it would have on American small businesses.

I introduced this common sense legislation in the last Congress too, but Barack Obama threatened to veto it, so it went nowhere. This time small businesses have an ally in the White House – someone who has promised to get rid of 75% of the red tape.

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There’s finally reason for hope.

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