By Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and 20 Senate Republicans offered legislation Thursday that would ban economically significant regulations until the unemployment rate falls to 7.7 percent.
“With unemployment at 9.2 percent, and employers nationwide fearful about the Obama agenda, regulators should take a pause,” Johnson said, citing an Environmental Protection Agency regulation on industrial boilers. “There’s no reason for the EPA to go forward with such a costly new rule when the economy is in terrible shape. My legislation gives workers and employers a break.”
The 7.7 percent target for unemployment is based on the 7.8 percent rate in the U.S. when President Obama took office. Johnson argues that because the rate has always been higher than that initial rate under Obama, substantive regulations should be banned until it gets under that level.
“According to the White House, we’re now into the third year of the Obama ‘recovery,'” Johnson said. “But job growth is anemic, and companies are still laying off workers. You would think that Washington would be focused on job creation. Instead, the White House is intent on adding new layers of job-killing regulation.”
The bill would ban “significant” regulations, which it defines in part as major rules that would have an effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or would have an effect on job creation.
The bill, S. 1438 <http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/flooraction/Jan2011/s1438.pdf> , is cosponsored by 20 other Republicans: Kelly Ayotte (NH), Richard Burr (NC), John Boozman (Ariz.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Cornyn (Texas), Jim DeMint (SC), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), David Vitter (La.), and Roger Wicker (Miss.).