Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Roby Column - October 3, 2011

October 3, 2011
Representative Roby's Weekly Column

Listening to Job Creators

As a Representative of the People’s House, the most important part of my job is to listen to you. My goal this week was facilitating discussions about the most pressing issue in America – job creation. I traveled the roads of Alabama’s Second Congressional District to listen to job creators about the challenges they face. I heard from them and discussed my support for bipartisan proposals passed in the House that would protect jobs from costly federal regulations.

Making visits to companies and holding Business Roundtables provides me valuable one-on-one time with employers. Several business owners talked to me about the number of jobs they have cut to pay for regulation compliance costs. One employer revealed the number of stores he is closing in order to meet the terms of the government health care law. Farmers explained the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) strict dust regulations were driving up their operating costs. It is increasingly evident that employers are growing more frustrated with excessive regulations in this struggling economy.

A recent study found that an unprecedented 43 major regulations were imposed in fiscal year 2010 with a total economic cost of $26.5 billion - the highest total since at least 1981. A few good regulations to ensure public safety and protect our environment are necessary. However, unreasonable regulations that hurt job growth in some of our nation’s most critical industries must be stopped.

Binding employers with strict government guidelines and ever-mounting federal regulations will not yield positive results. In this economy, we need to be looking for ways to help businesses succeed and grow.

Targeting ways to deregulate businesses to energize job growth remains the top priority for Congress. Earlier this year, my Republican colleagues and I introduced a jobs agenda (jobs.gop.gov) to deregulate businesses to foster job growth. Since then, we have been passing legislation and supporting proposals that would protect jobs from excessive federal regulations.

I have voted in support of numerous bipartisan bills to remove burdensome government regulations, including: The TRAIN Act; The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act; the Review of Federal Regulations; the Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act; and the vote to repeal the President’s Health Care Law. The House also passed the repeal of the 1099 form in the President’s Health Care Law to promote a fairer tax system that will create jobs by making America more competitive.

Additional legislation passed by the House will unleash our energy production here at home and will generate jobs. This legislation includes: Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act; Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act; the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011; and the North American-Made Energy Security Act.

Unfortunately, many of these bills are currently stalled in the Senate. Since both parties support these initiatives, my hope is that the President will call on the Senate to follow the House in passing these bills. Americans are out of work – it is time to find common ground and pass initiatives to get government out of the way so that our employers have the tools to create more jobs.

Over the next few months, my House colleagues and I will be working on a series of bills aimed at cutting red tape and halting regulations that are crippling job growth. One of the more important bills we will be taking up is the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011 (REINS Act). This bill requires that Congress take an up-or-down vote on every new major rule before it can be enforced on the American people and businesses. As a co-sponsor of The REINS Act, I support this initiative and will update you as it progresses through the House.

Visiting many businesses this week provided a clear indication of the challenges our job creators are facing. Now more than ever, we need to find common ground - without compromising our conservative principles - that protects the public without imposing unnecessary costs on employers and workers. The fight for pro-growth initiatives to support job creation and long-term economic growth will continue. My House colleagues and I will keep working to find solutions to provide the jobs that our country so very much needs.