Thursday, September 08, 2011

House GOP & Romney Job Plans In Advance Of The President

Sep 8: As the country prepares to hear the President's job's plan this evening it's important to review the House Republican jobs plan that was detailed further on August 29, in a memo to House Republicans from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). Representative Cantor indicated, ". . .we released The House Republican Plan for America's Job Creators earlier this year. While the debt crisis has demanded much of our attention, our new majority has passed over a dozen pro-growth measures to address the equally troubling jobs crisis, such as the Energy Tax Prevention Act and the Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act. Aside from repeal of the 1099 reporting requirement in ObamaCare, however, each House Republican jobs bill now sits dormant in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
    The Cantor memo indicates, "By pursuing a steady repeal of job-destroying regulations, we can help lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over small and large employers alike, empowering them to hire more workers. Our regulatory relief agenda will include repeal of specific regulations, as well as fundamental and structural reform of the rule-making system through legislation like the REINS Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, and reform of the Administrative Procedures Act (all three bills are expected on the floor in late November and early December)." The memo provides a listing of "the 10 most harmful job-destroying regulations" as well as a "selective calendar for their repeal." Among the 10 regulations targeted, 7 are environmentally related. The following is excerpted from the Cantor memo regarding the environmental regulations including:
  • Utility MACT and CSAPR (Week of September 19): "The Administration's new maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards and cross-state air pollution rule (CSAPR) for utility plants will affect electricity prices for nearly all American consumers. In total, 1,000 power plants are expected to be affected. The result for middle class Americans? Annual electricity bill increases in many parts of the country of anywhere from 12 to 24 percent. H.R. 2401, the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, sponsored by Rep. John Sullivan (OK), would require a cumulative economic analysis for specific EPA rules, and specifically delay the final date for both the utility MACT and CSAPR rules until the full impact of the Obama Administration's regulatory agenda has been studied."
  • Boiler MACT (Week of October 3): "From hospitals to factories to colleges, thousands of major American employers use boilers that will be impacted by the EPA's new 'boiler MACT' rules. These new stringent rules will impose billions of dollars in capital and compliance costs, increase the cost of many goods and services, and put over 200,000 jobs at risk. The American forest and paper industry, for example, will see an additional burden of at least $5-7 billion. H.R. 2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act, sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith (VA), would provide a legislative stay of four interrelated rules issued by the EPA in March of this year. The legislation would also provide the EPA with at least 15 months to re-propose and finalize new, achievable rules that do not destroy jobs, and provide employers with an extended compliance period."
  • Cement MACT (Week of October 3): "The 'cement MACT' and two related rules are expected to affect approximately 100 cement plants in America, setting exceedingly stringent requirements that will be cost-prohibitive or technically infeasible to achieve. Increased costs and regulatory uncertainty for the American cement industry—the foundation of nearly all infrastructure projects—are likely to offshore thousands of American jobs. Ragland, Alabama, for example, recently saw the suspension of a $350 million cement production facility, putting 1,500 construction jobs on hold and additional permanent and high-paying plant operation jobs in limbo. H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, sponsored by Rep. John Sullivan (OK), would provide a legislative stay of these three rules and provide EPA with at least 15 months to re-propose and finalize new, achievable rules that do not destroy jobs, and provide employers with an extended compliance period."
  • Coal Ash (October/November): "These anti-infrastructure regulations, commonly referred to as the "coal ash" rules, will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, affecting everything from concrete production to building products like wall board. The result is an estimated loss of well over 100,000 jobs. H.R. 2273, the Coals Residuals Reuse and Management Act, sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (WV), would create an enforceable minimum standard for the regulation of coal ash by the states, allowing their use in a safe manner that protects jobs."
  • Ozone Rule (Winter): This effective ban or restriction on construction and industrial growth for much of America is possibly the most harmful of all the currently anticipated Obama Administration regulations. Consequences would reach far across the U.S. economy, resulting in an estimated cost of $1 trillion or more over a decade and millions of jobs. Unlike her predecessors, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is pushing for a premature readjustment of the current ozone standards, dramatically increasing the number of "nonattainment" areas. The new readjustment rule is expected early this fall and I expect the Energy and Commerce Committee to act swiftly to prevent its implementation, in order to protect American jobs." [Note: On September 2, President Obama announced his decision to delay changes to the ground-level ozone standards until the regular review scheduled for 2013, See WIMS 9/6/11].
  • Farm Dust (Winter): "The EPA is expected to issue revised standards for particulate matter (PM) in the near future. Any downward revision to PM standards will significantly impact economic growth and jobs for businesses and people throughout rural America that create dust, like the farmer in Atkinson, Illinois, who raised his concerns with the President at a town hall earlier this month. While the President may have sent him on a bureaucratic wild goose chase, the House will act promptly on H.R. 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem (SD). H.R. 1633 would protect American farmers and jobs by establishing a one year prohibition against revising any national ambient air quality standard applicable to coarse PM and limiting federal regulation of dust where it is already regulated under state and local laws."
  • Greenhouse Gas (Winter): "The EPA's upcoming greenhouse gas new source performance standards (NSPS) will affect new and existing oil, natural gas, and coal-fired power plants, as well as oil refineries, nationwide. While the impact on the economy and jobs are likely to be severe, the rules are quickly moving forward, once again revealing the Administration's disregard for the consequences of their policies on our jobs crisis. Again, I expect Chairman Upton and the Energy and Commerce Committee to move swiftly in the coming months to protect American jobs and consumers."
    Meanwhile, on September 6, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his detailed 160-page book titled "Believe in America: Mitt Romney's Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth," which includes more than fifty policy proposals across seven different areas: Taxes, Regulation, Trade, Energy, Labor, Human Capital, and Fiscal Policy. Romney's plan is the first detailed plan to be released by the various Republican Presidential candidates. According to a release from Romney, the specific proposals include fundamental tax reform, a significant overhaul of the Federal regulatory system, innovative new approaches for opening foreign markets to American exports and for confronting China over its unfair trade practices, an aggressive commitment to developing America's energy resources, and a dramatically reduced role in the economy for the federal government.
    On September 6, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Cantor sent a letter to President Obama highlighting several House-passed jobs bills which they say "remain stalled in the Democrat-led Senate and outlining potential opportunities for Congress and the White House to work together this fall on jobs." In the letter the House Republican leaders indicate, "We understand that many in your party want to build on the $800 billion stimulus bill that you proposed (and the Democratic Congress passed) as the best method for improving the economy. As you know, we argued at the time that a large, deficit-financed, government spending bill was not the best way to improve our economic situation or create sustainable growth in employment. Given the current unemployment and deficit numbers, we believe our concerns have been validated. . .
    "Last week we also announced a legislative calendar for the fall with a heavy focus on repeal of excessive, job-destroying regulations and the pursuit of pro-growth tax relief.  . . Our hope is that both parties can work together in the coming weeks to reduce excessive regulation that is hampering job growth in our country. To facilitate such efforts, we hope that prior to your address to a Joint Session, you will disclose the cost estimates for the remaining 212 new regulatory actions planned by your administration. . ."
    Tonight at 7:00 PM EDT, President Obama will lay out his plan for creating American jobs and growing our economy in a speech before a special joint session of Congress. Senior Advisor David Plouffe recorded a short video to preview the speech and highlighted some key points (see the link below). Immediately following the President's speech, the White House will offer a live panel where policy experts from the White House will answer questions.
    Access the Cantor memo (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.2401 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.2250 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.2681 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.2273 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.1633 (click here). Access a 1-page summary of the House Republican jobs plan (click here). Access the complete 10-page House Republican jobs plan (click here). Access the Republican JobsBill legislative progress tracker (click here). Access a release from the Romney campaign and link to the complete plan (click here). Access the lengthy letter from House GOP leaders to the President (click here). Access the Plouffe video preview of the President's speech (click here). Access more information on the White House follow-up Q&A to the President's speech (click here). [#All]