Press "Enter" to skip to content

Column: Congressman Jason Smith: “Making Washington more like Missouri”

Regulatory reform has been a top priority of mine since my days serving in the Missouri General Assembly. As a state lawmaker, I passed legislation that requires a review of all state regulations every five years. When I was elected to represent our Eighth Congressional District back in June, I asked to serve on the Regulatory Reform Judiciary Subcommittee because I wanted to have a voice in limiting regulations coming from Washington. In Missouri, we have a review process in place for regulations because of the bill I passed. Now I am working to make Washington look a little more like Missouri.

Congressman Jason Smith (R)
Congressman Jason Smith (R)

This week, the House of Representatives passed a bill I cosponsored, the REINS Act, which would require Congressional oversight for the most costly and burdensome regulations. Instead of letting Washington bureaucrats have full control, the REINS Act would ensure that elected representatives in the House and Senate are responsible for reviewing regulations before they are imposed on families and businesses across our country.

One of the biggest and most burdening sources of new regulations coming from Washington is President Obama’s healthcare mandate. Obamacare was forced through Congress before anyone actually read the bill and we are just now beginning to learn the full impact the mandate will have on job creators and working families. Through my work on the Regulatory Reform Judiciary Subcommittee, I was able to add an amendment to the REINS Act that would give Congress the authority to review any new regulation created by Obamacare. My amendment is a common-sense approach that would give elected representatives, not Washington bureaucrats, power over any new regulations.

American job creators are buried under a regulatory burden of roughly $1.75 trillion each year. Last year, the costs of compliance for new regulations alone totaled $67.4 billion. Small businesses pay, on average, between $7,500 and $10,500 per employee just to comply with regulations from Washington.

For too long, Congress has delegated much of its constitutional authority to Executive Agencies. This has allowed those agencies to implement rules that are sometimes ineffective, redundant, time-consuming, costly and even counterproductive. In addition, it has allowed previous Congresses to limit their accountability for such rules by front-loading the benefits of legislation and back-loading the costs. The REINS Act would restore congressional responsibility and accountability in the regulatory process so that the elected representatives of the people can be held accountable. This will ensure that new major rules serve their intended purposes and do not place unnecessary burdens on the job-creating businesses that our economy needs to grow.

If Washington worked a little more like Missouri, our nation would be on much better economic footing. I worked to reform all the burdensome rules and regulations as a state legislator. Now, as your voice in Congress, I will keep working to limit regulations that stifle job creation and slow economic growth. Small businesses and innovators need a government that gets out of the way and allows the American entrepreneurial spirit to thrive.