I’m Senator Susan Collins from the Great State of Maine.
Last month, our nation produced no net new jobs. More than 14 million Americans could not find work.
I’ve asked employers what would it take to help them add more jobs. No matter the size of their business or the size of their workforce, they tell me that Washington must stop imposing crushing new regulations.
Some regulations are just plain silly. Last year, the federal government issued a warning to a company that sells packaged walnuts. Washington claimed that the walnuts were being marketed as a drug, so the government ordered the company to stop telling consumers about the health benefits of nuts.
Other regulations have far more serious consequences. The EPA has proposed a new rule on emissions from boilers that it admits would cost the private sector billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.
No wonder employers dread what is coming next out of Washington.
Over-regulation is hurting our economy; unfortunately, the problem is only growing worse. Right now, federal agencies are at work on more than 4,200 new rules, 845 of which affects small businesses, the engine of job creation. More than 100 have an economic impact of more than $100 million each.
No business owner I know questions the legitimate role of limited government in protecting our health and safety. Too often, however, our small businesses are buried under a mountain of paperwork.
Business owners are reluctant to create jobs today if they’re going to need to pay more tomorrow to comply with onerous new regulations. That’s why employers say that uncertainty generated by Washington is a big wet blanket on our economy.
We Republicans say, enough is enough. America needs a “time out” from the regulations that discourage job creation and hurt our economy.
Republicans have many good ideas about how to tame the regulatory behemoth. We want to prevent agencies from imposing new regulations without first thoroughly considering their costs and benefits. In addition, many of us have called for a one-year moratorium on certain costly new rules.
If a rule would have an adverse impact on jobs, the economy, or America’s international competitiveness, it should not go into effect.
That EPA rule on boilers is a good example of why we need a regulatory time out. If it went into effect as written, a recent study estimates that this rule, along with other pending regulations, could cause 36 pulp and paper mills across the country to close. That would put more than 20,000 Americans out of work—18 percent of that industry’s workforce.
And that is just for starters. Once these mills close, their suppliers would also be forced to lay off workers. Estimates are that nearly 90,000 Americans would lose their jobs. Even that is not the end of the story. People and businesses would still need paper. Where do you think we would get it? We’d be strengthening the economies of other countries like China, India and Brazil, while America’s economy grows weaker.
American businesses need pro-growth policies that will end the uncertainty and kick-start hiring and investment.
American workers need policies that will get them off the sidelines and back on the job.
The American economy needs a time out from excessive and costly regulations.
In sports, a “time out” gives athletes a chance to catch their breaths and make better decisions.
American workers and businesses are the athletes in a global competition that we must win. We need a time out from excessive regulations so that America can get back to work.