Obama Talks Jobs; GOP’s Davis Targets Red Tape

Posted September 4, 2010 at 5:00am

As Labor Day approaches, President Barack Obama devoted his Saturday radio address to the struggles of the American worker and his administration’s efforts to reignite the economy.

Obama cited a litany of legislation and executive actions aimed at creating and preserving jobs, and he tried to tie in how health care and bank reform are intended to strengthen the economy and restore the safety net.

“The steps we have taken to date have stopped the bleeding: investments in roads and bridges and high-speed railroads that will lead to hundreds of thousands of jobs in the private sector; emergency steps to prevent the layoffs of hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers; and tax cuts and loans for small business owners who create most of the jobs in America,” he said. “We also ended a tax loophole that encouraged companies to create jobs overseas. Instead, I’m fighting to pass a law to provide tax breaks to the folks who create jobs right here in America.”

Obama added: “But strengthening our economy means more than that. We’re fighting to build an economy in which middle class families can afford to send their kids to college, buy a home, save for retirement, and achieve some measure of economic security when their working days are done. And over the last two years, that has meant taking on some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for far too long.”

Kentucky Rep. Geoff Davis delivered the GOP response. In addition to flogging Democrats as heavy spenders and tax addicts, the low-profile third-termer used his star turn to promote his own legislation requiring a vote in Congress before the administration can implement major regulations.

The legislation would go beyond the 1996 Congressional Review Act — a top priority of former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) that was enacted as part of the “Contract With America.” That law allowed, but didn’t mandate, Congressional review of legislation and it has been used only once.

Davis noted that he has posted his proposal on the House GOP’s “America Speaking Out” website. Republicans have used the site as a tool to generate budget-cutting and other policy ideas they intend to make a part of the policy agenda they will unveil this month.

“As we speak, the Obama administration has lined up 191 rules and regulations that could each have an estimated annual cost to our economy of $100 million or more,” Davis said. “That’s 191 layers of red tape waiting in the wings. Last year, the federal government issued 3,316 new rules and regulations — that amounts to more than a dozen per day. All of these rules go on the books without being approved by Congress.”

Dubbing his proposal the REINS Act, Davis said, “The sooner we rein in the red tape factory in Washington, D.C., the sooner small businesses can get back to creating jobs and helping more Americans find an honest day’s work.”