GOP lawmaker targets labor regs in reform bills

Rep. Tim WalbergTimothy (Tim) Lee WalbergOvernight Defense: Top general defends Afghan war progress | VA shuffles leadership | Pacific Command gets new leader, name | Pentagon sued over HIV policy GOP leaders scramble to contain immigration rebellion House Republicans reserve millions in early air time MORE (R-Mich.) isn’t waiting for the next Congressional session to push for regulatory reform.

Walberg announced the introduction of three bills Thursday, each targeting the Labor Department, as the House was taking its last votes before the Thanksgiving recess.

The Regulatory Review Act calls for the creation of an independent regulatory review commission to remove a third of the regulatory obligations created by the agency.

The Regulatory Impact on Employment and Wages Act would require the Labor Department to study what impacts its major rules have on wages and employment and the Main Street Input Opportunity Act would direct the agency to convene small business review panels to provide input on regulations.

With limited time left, it appears unlikely the bills will be able to pass both the House and Senate this session. And with President Obama still in office, even more unlikely they would be signed into law.

But Walberg’s spokesman said the goal is to “lay down a marker" now.

“We wanted to get our ideas out there and we’ll be pushing them forward in the next Congress as well,” Dan Kotman said. “Clearly, regulatory reform issues will be top of the agenda.”

With control of both chambers and a Republican president, GOP lawmakers see next session as their opportunity to finally change the regulatory system and give Congress more oversight in the rulemaking process.

Walberg, however, is continuing his push for change until then.

“As the economy remains sluggish in far too many parts of the country, many Americans are feeling the pain of onerous regulations and stagnant wages,” he said in statement.

“These bills are an important step towards a more responsible and thoughtful regulatory approach that promotes opportunities for a healthy economy and the American worker.”