Dozens of amendments demonstrate GOP ire over regulations

The measures were among some 400 amendments introduced as part of consideration of the fiscal 2014 budget resolution. Few would get a vote as negotiators whittled down the list to a manageable number, and they would not be binding even if approved, since budget resolutions do not carry the force of law.

Their authors, rather, sought to build support for a wide range of efforts to rein in agencies’ rulemaking powers.

The amendments included proposals to block forthcoming regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, prohibit the federal government from regulating soda sizes and implement new restrictions on agencies on several fronts.

During debate Friday on the Senate floor, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) spoke in support of one of the more sweeping measures. The Collins amendment sought to require agencies to consider the indirect costs associated with new rules, reduce penalties for businesses that commit errors on regulatory paperwork and keep agencies from circumventing the rulemaking process by issuing guidance in lieu of formal rules.

“My amendment would require federal agencies to take into account the impact of small businesses and job growth before imposing new rules and regulations,” she said.

Later, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) argued that small community and state-run banks should be protected from sweeping new regulations required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law enacted in response to the economic crisis of the 2000s.

“Our banks were not the problem,” Inhofe said. “We’re going to draw a distinction between community and state banks and federal banks. The latter is where the problem is. Lets don’t try to correct something – fix something – that doesn’t need fixing.”