3:46 PM EST

David B. McKinley, R-WV 1st

Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is simple. It ensures that agencies must take into consideration the impacts on low-income communities when they develop regulations.

This amendment is based on a 1994 executive order from President Clinton that was intended to protect low-income populations from the negative effects of regulations.

Burdensome regulations have a real impact on families, regardless of their race or ethnicity. What makes sense on a bureaucrat's desk in Washington does not always work in the real world. In fact, these regulations are hurting people, especially in economically depressed communities. People have lost jobs and are facing increasing prices for energy, food, health care, and more.

The families who bear the brunt are not just statistics. They are fellow Americans. We need to show compassion towards them, especially those most vulnerable.

Regulations, as you have heard, are costing our economy $1.8 trillion each year, costing the average family $15,000. So what does that mean for the [Page: H261]

farmer in San Joaquin Valley, California, or the coal miner in Hazard, Kentucky, or the widow on a fixed income in Marietta, Ohio? They are worried about providing for their families. What happens if they lose their livelihood because of a new regulation?

The bureaucrats in Washington who are writing these excessive regulations are seemingly focused on saving the world but are forgetting what is happening to American families. I want them to understand the impact they are having on people's lives.

The costs of these regulations are born by people who can least afford it, not by the agencies writing the regulations. These bureaucrats should get out from behind their desks and come to communities in West Virginia and Georgia and Montana and across the Nation that are still struggling economically.

This is not just about coal miners and the energy industry. Excessive regulations are hurting farmers, manufacturers, health care workers, and small businesses of every kind.

Rather than blindly issuing regulations in pursuit of an ideological goal, agencies should stop and consider what they are doing, be more empathetic, take into account what would happen to a family that is living paycheck to paycheck or a senior on fixed income.

Too often, Americans all across this country believe that no one in Washington really cares about them. This amendment will help change that perception. Let's show some compassion to people and families that are struggling.

Plain and simple: we must ensure that the Federal agencies truly, truly take into consideration those that bear the burden of these regulations.

I want to thank the gentleman from Virginia, Chairman Goodlatte, for his support of this amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.

3:49 PM EST

Hank Johnson Jr., D-GA 4th

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment, which would have devastating impacts and consequences for minority and low-income populations. Under Executive Order 12898, agencies already must account for the impact of rulemaking on both of these communities.

The amendment, which makes no accommodation for minority populations, would override existing protections while the underlying bill would override every law protecting the public interest in the rulemaking process.

In short, these sweeping policy changes would be a nightmare for vulnerable populations and endangered communities. That is why the AFL-CIO, along with 70 other public interest groups, opposes this amendment and the underlying bills.

I listened to the list of supporters rattled off by the other side for this bill. They were all trade groups that would benefit financially from this bill. No academics or others of objective opinions were mentioned, and I think the public should note that.

My colleague from Illinois, Representative Bobby Rush, offered an amendment to this bill specifically to protect these communities by promoting environmental justice. If the majority was serious about protecting these communities, they would have accepted the Rush amendment instead of attempting to mislead the public through a gotcha amendment such as this.

If the majority was serious about protecting the American people, we wouldn't be considering this dangerous, misguided, and ideologically driven piece of legislation. I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment.

3:50 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, the McKinley amendment--as bad as things already are in the bill--adds an additional requirement to the bill's more than 60 analytical new requirements for the rulemaking process by requiring agencies to also consider economic competitiveness and impact on low-income populations in the rulemaking process. Now, the AFL-CIO, Public Citizen, and Coalition for Sensible Safeguards all oppose this amendment because it is redundant and inflexible.

This amendment is largely redundant of existing requirements. Executive Order 12898 already protects both low-income communities and communities of color. That executive order already requires agencies to take into account distributional impacts on these populations. So I want you to know that this is not the way to go. This amendment makes a totally unacceptable bill even more unacceptable.

I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Johnson).

3:50 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, the McKinley amendment--as bad as things already are in the bill--adds an additional requirement to the bill's more than 60 analytical new requirements for the rulemaking process by requiring agencies to also consider economic competitiveness and impact on low-income populations in the rulemaking process. Now, the AFL-CIO, Public Citizen, and Coalition for Sensible Safeguards all oppose this amendment because it is redundant and inflexible.

This amendment is largely redundant of existing requirements. Executive Order 12898 already protects both low-income communities and communities of color. That executive order already requires agencies to take into account distributional impacts on these populations. So I want you to know that this is not the way to go. This amendment makes a totally unacceptable bill even more unacceptable.

I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Johnson).

3:50 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, the McKinley amendment--as bad as things already are in the bill--adds an additional requirement to the bill's more than 60 analytical new requirements for the rulemaking process by requiring agencies to also consider economic competitiveness and impact on low-income populations in the rulemaking process. Now, the AFL-CIO, Public Citizen, and Coalition for Sensible Safeguards all oppose this amendment because it is redundant and inflexible.

This amendment is largely redundant of existing requirements. Executive Order 12898 already protects both low-income communities and communities of color. That executive order already requires agencies to take into account distributional impacts on these populations. So I want you to know that this is not the way to go. This amendment makes a totally unacceptable bill even more unacceptable.

I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Johnson).

3:52 PM EST

Hank Johnson Jr., D-GA 4th

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment, which would have devastating impacts and consequences for minority and low-income populations. Under Executive Order 12898, agencies already must account for the impact of rulemaking on both of these communities.

The amendment, which makes no accommodation for minority populations, would override existing protections while the underlying bill would override every law protecting the public interest in the rulemaking process.

In short, these sweeping policy changes would be a nightmare for vulnerable populations and endangered communities. That is why the AFL-CIO, along with 70 other public interest groups, opposes this amendment and the underlying bills.

I listened to the list of supporters rattled off by the other side for this bill. They were all trade groups that would benefit financially from this bill. No academics or others of objective opinions were mentioned, and I think the public should note that.

My colleague from Illinois, Representative Bobby Rush, offered an amendment to this bill specifically to protect these communities by promoting environmental justice. If the majority was serious about protecting these communities, they would have accepted the Rush amendment instead of attempting to mislead the public through a gotcha amendment such as this.

If the majority was serious about protecting the American people, we wouldn't be considering this dangerous, misguided, and ideologically driven piece of legislation. I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment.

3:54 PM EST

Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I hear from the other side of the aisle about how low-income people are being taken care of already because the President of the United States has told these agencies to ``take into account their status.'' But guess what? That has no judicial enforceability. So if a low-income person really wants to seek redress of their grievances through a regulation that is going to cost them their job, cost them their business, whatever the case might be, they have no recourse

to the courts. Among those who suffer most unfairly from overreaching regulations are lower-income families and individuals.

The other side has criticized our list of entities supporting this. But these are all job-creating organizations. I haven't heard of many job-creating organizations who are opposed to this legislation.

New regulations often represent the policy preferences of elites and pro-regulatory advocates. Recent regulations aimed at driving down the use of coal and other fossil fuels are an example of this.

What growing research shows, and what policy elites too often ignore, is that the costs of new regulations often have regressive effects on those with lower incomes. For example, when electricity rates go up because Federal regulators clamp down on the use of cheap energy, real money that lower-income households need to secure better housing, better educational choices, or other essential needs goes instead to pay for unnecessarily excessive regulations.

This is unfair. Agencies should be required to identify and reveal the unseen adverse effects of proposed new regulations on low-income households. The gentleman's amendment accomplishes this important goal.

I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.

3:55 PM EST

David B. McKinley, R-WV 1st

Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Chairman, in closing, we just heard the chairman talk about, this is an executive order. And I have heard from folks on the other side that this is an executive order. Perhaps it is time to codify this executive order.

If it had merit back in 1994, let's make it the rule; make it a law. This amendment will accomplish that.

I yield back the balance of my time.

3:55 PM EST

David B. McKinley, R-WV 1st

Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Chairman, in closing, we just heard the chairman talk about, this is an executive order. And I have heard from folks on the other side that this is an executive order. Perhaps it is time to codify this executive order.

If it had merit back in 1994, let's make it the rule; make it a law. This amendment will accomplish that.

I yield back the balance of my time.

3:55 PM EST

David B. McKinley, R-WV 1st

Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Chairman, in closing, we just heard the chairman talk about, this is an executive order. And I have heard from folks on the other side that this is an executive order. Perhaps it is time to codify this executive order.

If it had merit back in 1994, let's make it the rule; make it a law. This amendment will accomplish that.

I yield back the balance of my time.

3:56 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 13th

Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is a wolf in sheep's clothing. It would not change the bill's overarching regulatory purpose, nor does it address the many concerns expressed by scores of public interest groups that strenuously oppose the bill.

I think the President is very sensitive to the working class, the poor, and minorities especially, and I enjoy hearing this commentary coming from the other side of the aisle.

If the majority were serious about protecting the low-income population, it would have made in order the amendment offered by our colleague from Illinois, Bobby Rush, to promote environmental justice. The Rush amendment would have safeguarded existing protections while mitigating the devastating consequences of H.R. 185 on both minority and low-income populations.

I repeat, AFL-CIO, Public Citizen, and the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards all oppose the McKinley amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. McKinley).

The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the ayes appeared to have it.