By Jamie Klatell - 09/24/11 10:08 AM EDT
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is calling for a "regulatory time out" to give the U.S. economy a chance to create jobs.
“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," Collins said in the Republican weekly address.
"America needs a ‘time out’ from the regulations that discourage job creation and hurt our economy."
The national unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent, and according to the Labor Department, the economy created a net of zero new jobs in August.
Collins identified problem regulations that range from "silly" rules about packaged walnuts to more serious proposed Environmental Protection Agency restrictions on pollution emitted from boilers.
"Republicans have many good ideas about how to tame the regulatory behemoth," Collins said. "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."
The House on Friday approved legislation that would set up an interagency committee charged with assessing the impact of EPA rules on U.S. economic competitiveness, and also delay two EPA rules several years until that analysis is complete.
Democrats railed against the bill throughout debate on Thursday and Friday, saying it represents the latest attempt by Republicans to advance an anti-environment agenda.
“No business owner I know questions the legitimate role of limited government in protecting our health and safety," Collins said. "Too often, however, our small businesses are buried under a mountain of paperwork."