Stopping government abuse

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By Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Whether in the form of new regulations on businesses or mandates on families created under the new health care law, increasing executive overreach and government abuse is only growing the size and scope of the federal government. This trend is not the way to spur the economic growth and job creation our nations needs.


This past week, the House of Representatives took up, and passed, 12 bills in an effort to stop government abuse and reduce the regulatory burden on working families and small businesses. These bills were born from concerns voiced by the American people, and address topics ranging from reducing the impact of federal mandates to protecting private property rights. I am pleased that the House approved the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act in order to block new IRS regulations that would hamper the constitutional rights of certain non-profit groups.


Excessive regulation means higher prices, lower wages, fewer job opportunities, and a less competitive America. In 1960, the Code of Federal Regulations was 22,877 pages compared to 174,545 pages now. According to the Center for Regulatory Solutions, the regulatory cost per American household totals $14,678, or 23.2 percent of the national average family income. With an economy that is still struggling to recover, American families and businesses cannot afford the sheer volume of burdensome regulations being put forth.


Another bill passed by the House was H.R. 2804, which combined four regulatory reform bills. The legislation stops unnecessary regulation and ensures smarter, less costly regulation when regulation is needed. It also provides greater transparency about new regulations and costs. The goal of this comprehensive legislation is to reform government by reducing unnecessary red tape and keeping the government accountable to its mandate: to serve the American people and use taxpayer dollars wisely. Included in this package is the Regulatory Accountability Act, which I introduced last year, requiring federal bureaucrats to adopt the least costly method of effectively implementing the law.


No one wins with excessive, unnecessary regulation, especially not the American people. The effects are real for American families who witness the government digging deeper and deeper into their pocketbooks and face higher prices, fewer job opportunities, and a less competitive America. Stopping government abuse is critical to restoring trust in the federal government, protecting the liberties our nation was founded upon, and returning America to prosperity.