As the Obama administration comes to a close, there is at least one thing they will be leaving behind: a legacy of bad rulemaking and harmful regulations. Indeed, the country has endured eight years of regulatory scheming and bureaucratic overreach affecting virtually every aspect of American life, including:
A fundamentally flawed overtime rule. Despite repeated Republican calls for a responsible update of federal overtime policies, the Obama administration put forward an extreme rule that will do more harm than good. In the words of Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), “The central planners at the [Department of Labor] claim the rule will provide workers a pay raise, when in reality it will raise costs on small businesses, destroy jobs, decrease real income for families, and make it harder for low-wage workers to climb the ladder of opportunity.”
An unprecedented K-12 regulatory proposal. After Republicans and Democrats came together to reduce the federal role in K-12 education, the Department of Education used the bipartisan achievement as a vehicle to unilaterally push its flawed education agenda. Exhibit A is the department’s proposed multibillion-dollar regulatory tax on local communities. Republican members recently warned that this new proposed rule—known as the “supplement, not supplant” regulation—is “unlawful, unnecessary, and could result in harmful consequences” for schools, teachers, and students. State and local education leaders have shared similar concerns.
A misguided fiduciary rule. At a time when too many Americans are already struggling to plan for retirement, the Obama administration advanced a partisan rule that makes it even more difficult for hardworking men and women to save for the future. As Chairwoman Foxx explained, “The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will significantly impact the ability of Americans to receive advice on how to save for retirement and make it more difficult for businesses, in particular small businesses, to establish retirement plans.”
Partisan “blacklisting” regulations. Bad actors who violate worker protections should not be awarded taxpayer-funded federal contracts. But rather than enforce existing employee protections, the Obama administration created a convoluted and redundant regulatory scheme that will destroy jobs, raise costs on hardworking taxpayers, and do little to protect workers. As committee leaders pointed out, the administration “would rather spend time and resources creating new layers of bureaucracy instead of using its existing authority to enforce current protections.”
These are just a few items on the long list of bad regulatory policies that—even in President Obama’s final days in office—continues to grow. The American people have had enough. That’s why House Republicans are working this week to help put an end to reckless regulating with the Midnight Rules Relief Act and ensure responsible rulemaking in the future with the REINS Act.
It’s one of the first steps the 115th Congress is taking to deliver the relief working families need and provide A Better Way for all Americans to achieve success—efforts the Committee on Education and the Workforce will continue to play a critical role in advancing. As Chairwoman Foxx recently promised:
The committee will continue to work towards fostering the best opportunities for students to learn, workers to succeed, and employers to grow … Our creative, ambitious pursuit of good policy will be guided by the Constitution with solutions centered on securing and protecting access to high quality education and safe and productive workplaces for all Americans.
Time may be running out for the administration, but House Republicans are moving full speed ahead.