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Call a Regulatory “Time Out” to Help Overburdened Businesses!
An Open Letter to the United States Congress:

October 4, 2011

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I urge you to support the Regulation Moratorium and Jobs Preservation Act of 2011. This legislation, introduced as S. 1438 by Sen. Johnson (R-WI) and H.R. 2898 by Rep. Ribble (R-WI) would generally prohibit any federal agency from taking a significant regulatory action until the unemployment rate is lower than 7.8 percent – the rate when President Obama took office.

NTU has long argued that regulatory mandates can be every bit as destructive as more overt fiscal policies such as higher taxes, fees, expenditures, and debt. But while the recession and its tenuous aftermath should have counseled a judicious approach to new government regulations, a tidal wave of red tape threatens to engulf businesses. In just the first six months of the 2011 fiscal year, 15 major regulations were issued with a combined annual cost to the nation exceeding $5.8 billion. And with hundreds of new edicts stemming from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank financial industry law, and out-of-control agencies like the FCC and EPA coming down the pipeline, any hint of a recovery could be washed away.

The Regulation Moratorium and Jobs Preservation Act would help to lessen the damage from this deluge by enacting a temporary suspension on carefully defined, “significant” regulatory actions that would have an adverse impact on jobs, the economy, or our international competitiveness. Furthermore, S. 1438 and H.R. 2898 provide carefully-tailored exceptions in the case of national emergencies or a waiver passed by the House and Senate. 

These provisions would help to halt the reckless rulemaking that is saddling would-be job creators with costly mandates. In so doing Congress could eliminate one of the largest roadblocks to job creation – regulatory uncertainty. Throughout the economic downturn business owners have expressed a reluctance to create jobs and invest because they cannot foresee the costs of complying with new regulations. A moratorium would ease these concerns and free entrepreneurs to focus on building and growing their businesses in order to provide the employment opportunities necessary to jumpstart our economy.

Increased regulation is not the answer to our nation’s woes. Rather than expand the burden of bureaucracy, Washington must work to create the conditions necessary for economic prosperity. NTU believes the Regulation Moratorium and Jobs Preservation Act is an excellent first step toward the reforms needed to accomplish that goal. Any roll call votes on S. 1438 or H.R. 2898 will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress.


Brandon Greife
Federal Government Affairs Manager