3:58 PM EST
Hank Johnson Jr., D-GA 4th

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of my amendment.

It is clear the economy is growing at its fastest pace in years, while unemployment is dropping rapidly. According to the most recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers added 252,000 jobs in December, exceeding expectations and driving the unemployment rate down to 5.6 percent, the lowest level since the recession.

There have been actually 54, 55 straight months of positive jobs growth over the last 6 years, Mr. Chairman. And this is an important consideration when you consider the faulty premise being offered in support of the underlying legislation here, that regulations hurt business and hurt job growth. They do not.

[Time: 16:00]

My amendment would ensure that this rapid growth and progress continues by exempting from H.R. 185 all rules that the Office of Management and Budget determines would result in net job creation.

Several of my Republican colleagues have complained in today's debate about a regulatory system that costs American families $15,000 in annual costs. These figures rely on debunked sources from studies that do not assume current economic conditions or even account for the benefits of regulations.

We even had a display of 1 week's worth of so-called regulations by one of my colleagues on the other side a short while ago purporting to show the sheer volume of regulations that were issued in 1 week when, in fact, a lot of those papers had to do with 34 final rules published during that period, 31 proposed rules--many of which were minor in nature--and 277 notices of administrative minutia such as public meetings, when and where public meetings were to be held, and also the availability of

letters regarding sunscreen products.

So it really tries to mislead by holding up a stack and contending that one business in one particular area has to comply with all of these so-called regulations that are purported to be in a stack of papers. That is just not true. It is misleading to the public.

In many cases, rules issued in 2015 have been largely administrative and minor. For instance, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued rules concerning airworthiness directives while the Coast Guard has issued its routine rules for bridge opening schedules.

Now, if we didn't have rules for when bridges should be opening and how to open and how to warn people, do you think we could claim ourselves to be living in such a civilized society as the one we live in?

We have got to have rules. I will take note of the fact that when I went to kindergarten, we had a set of rules up on the board. Everywhere you go, you are going to have a set of rules: the rules of the Federal Government--which are vast and broad--foreign policy, domestic policy, space, cyberspace.

I mean, this country that we live in is not a great country because it chose simplicity as its model. We have a lot of rules that we have to live by, and those are the things that help make America a great country.

Guess what, ladies and gentlemen, it is you and your family members and friends who populate this Federal Government. You are the ones who are the rulemakers. They want to try to turn you into people who are trying to do something to hurt others when the only thing you are trying to do is do your job that will help others be able to live lives and create a better America for ourselves and, most importantly, our children.

Don't get it twisted. Don't think that regulations are hurting you. Regulations are causing what benefits you are taking advantage of now. These are the very rules that undergird our Nation's regulatory system and successful day-to-day operations.

The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Hultgren). The gentleman's time has expired.

4:04 PM EST
Bob Goodlatte, R-VA 6th

Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, to the point just raised by the gentleman from Georgia, I want to quote Daniel Webster, who is also quoted right up there above us in the Chamber.

He says, ``It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.''

I share and welcome the gentleman from Georgia's concerns about the impact of regulations on the people and on their jobs, but the right way to address that concern is to join me in supporting this bill. It includes the Rothfus-Barr amendment added to the legislation in the 113th Congress that requires agencies to do a much better job identifying adverse job impacts before they impose the regulations.

The gentleman's amendment represents the wrong way to address job concerns. That is because it would give the executive branch a strong incentive to manipulate its jobs impact and cost-benefit analysis to avoid the requirements of the bill, including the Rothfus-Barr amendment, rather than comply with that requirement.

The amendment also puts the cart before the horse, offering carve-outs from the bill, based on factors that cannot be determined adequately unless the important analytical requirements in the bill are applied in the first place.

For all of these reasons, I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.