House Republicans plan assault on federal regulations 'gone awry'

House Republicans plan assault on federal regulations 'gone awry'

The House will vote on a bill that would require congressional approval of any federal regulation that negatively affects the economy, Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorMeet Trump's most trusted pollsters Embattled Juul seeks allies in Washington GOP faces tough battle to become 'party of health care' MORE (R-Va.) said Wednesday in Richmond, Va.

Cantor touted the proposal near the conclusion of a jobs forum he held with local business owners in his district, where the Republican leader heard criticism of the current regulatory environment and the impact of the 2010 healthcare and Wall Street reform laws.

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“We just can’t continue to have unintended consequences play out in the way that they have,” Cantor said. “We’re going to try and stop that.”

Cantor cited a statistic from the Small Business Administration that federal regulations affect $1.7 trillion in the economy. The proposal he endorsed would shift the balance of regulatory authority in the direction of Congress amid complaints by Republicans that the Obama administration has been too aggressive in trying to rein in bad practices by business.

The legislation, known as the REINS Act, has been introduced by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) and has 142 House co-sponsors. It would require an up-or-down vote by Congress on any federal rule judged to have a negative economic impact of $100 million or more. The House will take up the bill this summer, a Cantor spokeswoman said.

Like many proposals advanced by the House Republican majority, however, the legislation would face hurdles in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and likely a presidential veto.

The small-business owners Cantor met with on Wednesday largely echoed the message he has been delivering in Congress for several months. Representing a community bank, a local hotel, and biotech and electric companies, they said the regulatory environment created by the healthcare and finance laws increased uncertainty and stifled job creation.

“It creates an overall level of uncertainty for us,” said Neil Amin, the CEO of Shamin hotels in Chester, Va. He said his company was keeping more cash on hand than at any time in its history because of looming regulations, money that would otherwise be used to expand the business.

“We don’t think it’s going to be good for us in a lot of ways,” an executive at a local bank, Elizabeth Bentley, said of the financial regulatory law. She said it would increase overhead for the bank and “stifle innovation.”

Cantor said the GOP was trying to scale back the law, calling it an example of “good intentions gone awry.” He also reiterated the party’s commitment to pursue broad tax reform and a streamlining of the federal bureaucracy to eliminate duplication and waste.

Updated at 1:46 p.m.