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Government Regulations: A Job Seeker’s Worst Nightmare

With unemployment still resting above 9 percent, some in Washington are pointing a finger back at the government as the main problem. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is publicly calling on President Obama to reign in the Environmental Protection Agency after a new report showed job creation continues to lag.

“Millions of American jobs are in jeopardy because of the costly rules proposed or under development by the EPA, and that’s just one agency,” said Upton. “If this administration is serious about job creation and not just paying lip service, it should begin by putting the brakes on this regulatory train wreck.”

Upton praised the debt agreement signed into law by Obama recently, but said, “The real work lies ahead.”

In spite of slightly better numbers in recent months, it is still evident that job creation is not the main priority of this Administration. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) says the still lagging economy and job numbers shows that the Obama administration needs to show leadership in cutting taxes and easing the death grip many unnecessary regulations place on business.

Representative Upton agrees, saying the “America’s economy is limping under the weight of a large and growing federal government and the burdens and uncertainty created by reckless and relentless regulations. After months of weak job creation and disappointingly slow GDP growth in the first half of this year, there is no doubt about the need to change course.”

Republicans point to the EPA as a symbol of government overreach, blaming agency regulations they argue impose massive burdens on the economy. They have pushed for legislation and riders to block or limit the host of new regulations that have come in the last two years, including a number of agency climate rules. The EPA has responded by claiming its regulations only result in “modest” industry costs while making for “significant health benefits that prevent thousands of premature deaths.”

Disregarding the EPA’s claims, it looks like there is about to be a major push back by conservative Congressman in an effort to do what the president has refused to do – put a stop to run-away regulations. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told CNBC, “We’ve got to take a real look at what we can do in Washington, number one, to remove the regulatory burdens that are in the way of entrepreneurs and investors, so that jobs can be created again. And we have to look at policies that affect small business people and the middle class.”

The GOP plans a major effort this fall to pass the REINS Act, which would require all major regulations to get a vote in Congress. Also on their list is a bill sponsored by Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) that requires more extensive cost-benefit analysis on regulations. There are also dozens of policy riders in the appropriations bills that will target burdensome regulations. “We are going to use every tool in our arsenal,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

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