January 4, 2019 – Still Not Tired of Winning
This week marked the start of a new year and a new Congress. Each week, my Freedom Friday series has covered unnecessary regulations and government waste that costs taxpayers in a variety of ways. To kick off the new year, I wanted to look back on some of the wins and regulatory rollbacks we achieved during my first term in Congress.
- Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule
Issued by President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015, the WOTUS Rule allows the agency to regulate bodies of water on private land, placing unnecessary regulatory burdens on our country’s agricultural industry. Congress never contemplated a rule this expansive and the EPA should not exert control over this land without input from lawmakers.
WIN! In response, the Trump administration has agreed that a revision is necessary, and on December 11, 2018 the EPA released a proposed revision that would end the federal overreach of the 2015 WOTUS Rule. This action by the Trump administration is a key step in scaling back this intrusive and economically devastating WOTUS Rule.
- Association Health Plans (AHPs)
AHPs are arrangements that allow small businesses, including the self-employed, to pool their resources together to buy health insurance coverage as if they were a single employer. This gives small businesses and the self-employed access to the types of coverage that is normally only available to large employers, which is typically less expensive and better tailored to the employees’ needs.
WIN! Last year, President Trump issued an executive order to relax regulations on AHPs and expand their availability. In response, the Department of Labor issued a new rule that vastly expanded access to AHPs, allowing more employer groups and associations to form AHPs based on common geography or industry. By loosening these regulations, President Trump has improved access to low cost health coverage for many Americans.
- Title X Family Planning Rule
During the Obama administration, the requirements of the Family Planning Program, also known as Title X, were not properly enforced. This allowed organizations like Planned Parenthood to receive $60 million a year in funding that were not proper under the law. To address this, I signed on to a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking that HHS enforce the rule correctly by separating abortion facilities from family planning facilities.
WIN! On June 1, 2018, Secretary Azar proposed a rule that would reverse the Obama era practice and ensure that grantees may not refer to abortion as a method of family planning. With this new rule, physical and financial separation of family planning facilities from abortion facilities will be required before grantees can receive funds under Title X. That will ensure funds that are supposed to be reserved for family planning are properly used for that purpose, as the law passed by Congress intended.
- More Victories to Come…
One of my top priorities in Congress is to restore the constitutional limits of the federal government. Too often, unelected federal bureaucrats issue new regulations that Congress has not authorized or interpret existing rules with no regard to the law or the people they affect. As long as I am your representative, I will continue to highlight and target freedom killing rules that harm the citizens of Arizona’s fifth congressional district.
To see my previous post on Freedom Friday wins, click here.