Shedding Light on Unconstitutional Federal Regulations
We’ve covered many issues since the inception of our Freedom Fridays series. Rest assured that once we discuss each issue, I continue to fight on your behalf until we achieve victory.
Here are some of the recent victories we've had for our Freedom Friday issues –
- Net Neutrality
Yesterday, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the Obama administration’s Open Internet Order rule (also known as net neutrality).
Under Chairman Ajit Pai’s leadership, the FCC has rightly stopped federal regulators from controlling our internet. The Obama administration’s net neutrality rule was one of the many examples of executive overregulation. Due to this interference, all internet consumers would see price increases, and the success of smaller Internet Service Providers (ISPs) would be stifled. Now, internet freedom has been restored.
The action by the FCC does not absolve Congress’ responsibility to codify these free-market protections into law. I am pleased to support Senator Mike Lee’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Act,” a one-paragraph bill that prevents the FCC from this type of overreach in the future. I will continue to work with my colleagues to pass this legislation on the House side.
The FCC published a helpful “myth vs. fact” sheet to help sort through the untruths surrounding this issue. Read here.
- Let Lenders Lend
As promised in a previous Freedom Fridays post, I introduced the Let Lenders Lend Act, which permanently eliminates the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).
In 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) developed rules to expand the scope of the HMDA, which was enacted in the 1970s to prevent discriminatory lending practices. It is not clear that adding more reporting requirements will have any measurable effect on preventing further instances of discriminatory lending. Instead, this requirement would double the paperwork that lenders fill out each time they offer a loan. This places an enormous, new regulatory burden on small and mid-size lenders.
I believe that Congress should determine appropriate banking regulations – not unelected bureaucrats at the CFPB. I trust that CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney is committed to this principle, and I know he is already working to restore Article I authority to the legislative branch. However, it is incumbent on Congress to codify these necessary regulatory rollbacks into law. Earlier this year, the House passed the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10), which includes a provision to delay implementation of this regulation until January 1, 2019. While this is a positive first step, I don’t believe this delay goes far enough. My bill will completely eliminate the HDMA rule to help, not hinder, lenders lend.
- Obama’s CERCLA Rule
Earlier this month, Administrator Pruitt announced “that the Agency will not issue final regulations for financial responsibility requirements for certain hardrock mining facilities.”
This was an important day for freedom and deregulation. Throughout my first term in Congress, I have been pro-active in overturning the CERCLA 108(b) regulation by sending letters to Administrator Pruitt and the House Appropriations Committee. Arizona’s mining industry brings over 43,800 jobs and $4.3 billion to the economy. I applaud Administrator Pruitt for putting our economy, global competitiveness, and American energy independence ahead of bureaucracy.
- Waters of the United States (WOTUS)
As chairman of the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment, I chaired a hearing at the end of last month to examine the future of WOTUS in regards to the role of states.
The WOTUS rule, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015, amounted to one of the biggest federal overreaches in modern history. Not only did the rule’s flimsy definitions and underlying science mean that the agency had the ability to regulate private land, but it also placed significant financial burdens on some of our country’s hardest workers.
I was very pleased to have representatives from my home state of Arizona discuss how this rule would affect them and what changes they believe would make water regulations better for this country.
As I believe the Trump administration clearly understands, a revision to the 2015 rule is desperately needed to provide greater clarity to states and stakeholders. Instead of rushing forward with burdensome federal regulations, the government needs to do its due diligence and propose a rule that is helpful, not harmful.
In this hearing, we heard ideas about how some of those fixes to the regulation should look. Our witnesses informed our subcommittee how federal water regulations affect them and what they need from the government to continue operating effectively.
- The Joint Employer Rule
On November 7, the House passed H.R. 3441, the Save Local Business Act, which was sponsored by Congressman Bradley Byrne. I co-sponsored this legislation and voted in favor of its passage.
This bill rolls back the National Labor Relation Board’s expansion of the joint employer definition, and prevents unelected bureaucrats from taking similar actions in the future. Congress has a responsibility to protect small businesses across our nation, and I am happy to support this bill’s effort to do that.
- More to come....