GOP weekly address: Mitt Romney ‘gets it’ on small biz, regulations

A Republican House candidate from Oklahoma said Saturday that Mitt Romney will help small businesses that President Obama is burying in costly red tape.

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“If we’re serious about keeping jobs here and bringing jobs home, we need to stop burdening small businesses with excessive and unnecessary regulations. We need to get government out of the way,” said Markwayne Mullin in the GOP's weekly address.

“Mitt Romney gets it; he’s made supporting small businesses a key plank of his jobs plan. And the Republican majority in the House has passed several bipartisan, common-sense proposals to address excessive regulations that impose unnecessary costs and hurt jobs,” added Mullin.

He’s running for the eastern Oklahoma seat that Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) is vacating, presenting a key pickup opportunity for Republicans.

The open seat is listed as “lean Republican” in The Hill’s race ratings. Mullin is the second Republican House contender that has been selected to give the weekly address this election cycle as the party seeks to preserve its House majority.

Mullin, in the address, says he’s got firsthand knowledge of burdens that regulations impose on small businesses. He said complying with regulations eats up more than 40 cents of every dollar in revenue that his plumbing business takes in.

Allegations of excessive regulations have been central to the GOP’s political assault on Obama’s handling of the economy, but the White House has pushed back against the claims.

Obama’s White House Office of Management and Budget has promoted steps to review rules that may be unnecessary or burdensome.

Administration officials have also disputed allegations that regulations have been a drag on the economy.

“[T]wo commonly repeated misconceptions are that uncertainty created by proposed regulations is holding back business investment and hiring and that the overall burden of existing regulations is so high that firms have reduced their hiring,” wrote Jan Eberly, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for economic policy, in a late 2011 blog post.

Mullin, for his part, blasts the Democrat-controlled Senate for blocking House-approved bills aimed at easing regulations.

The GOP-controlled House has passed a series of bills to scuttle existing rules, such as air-pollution-control mandates, and thwart future regulations.

One of the bills – the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, dubbed REINS – would require congressional approval of major new federal regulations.

The bill has been panned by Democrats and environmental and public health advocates, who say it would lead to needed protections crafted by agency experts getting mired in Congress.

But Mullin calls it a “great idea,” arguing that it “gives the American people a say, through their elected representatives,” before major rules go forward.

“Our economy doesn’t need more meddling – it needs more certainty. And we don’t need more regulators – we need more representatives who understand what it takes to create jobs, and who will inspire us to overcome doubt and commit ourselves to a future of growth and prosperity,” he said.