The GOP has been consistently blocking nearly all potential job growth legislation from the Obama administration. The most damaging block was the American Jobs Act, which, as we pointed out in the entry The One About the Pipeline, would have provided more jobs to the state of Iowa alone than the Keystone pipeline could provide for the nation.
Post-American Jobs Act, the Republicans spoke of 30 or 27 jobs bills (they aren’t even sure) currently sitting in the House, waiting on the Senate. Considering the lack of public awareness of the bills’ content, it was as if the GOP were hiding these bills across the galaxy in hopes of Darth Vader never finding them.
Below is a sampling of the 27 bills listed on the GOP’s official site. These are referred to as ‘job creating measures’ by the Republican Party.
H.R. 1633 – Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011
What it does: Prevents the EPA from issuing regulations revising air quality standards under the Clean Air Act. It would also exempt farm dust from being included in as “particulate matter.”
Job Growth: ZERO. The EPA does not, nor do they have plans, to regulate dust.
H.R. 910 – Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011
What it does: Prohibits the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases and any other substance that addresses climate change under the Clean Air Act.
Job Growth: ZERO. Many groups have stood against this Act, including the UAW (United Auto Workers), expressing concern of potential job loss, due to the Act’s potential negative effects on the EPA-NHTSA 2012-2016 line of automobiles.
H.R. 2250 – EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011
What it does: Places a legislative stay on EPA boiler MACT rules.
Job Growth: ZERO. The EPA has estimated that if allowed to pass, H.R. 2250 could be responsible for an additional 123,000 asthma attacks, 12,000 heart attacks and 20,000 premature deaths.
H.R. 2273 – Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act
What it does: Removes coal ash regulation from the EPA to the states.
Job Growth: ZERO. The regulations under the EPA could create 28,000 jobs according to a report out of Tufts University. I have not come across a single document that states these jobs would be accounted for if H.R. 2273 were to pass. Chalk this up to a job loss.
H.R. 2681 – Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011
What is does: Places a legislative stay on cement manufacturing emission standards.
Job Growth: ZERO. Like H.R. 2250, the EPA estimates damaging consequences such as 85,000 asthma attacks, 7,500 heart attacks and 12,500 premature deaths due to particulate matter exposure.
H.R. 2401 – TRAIN Act
What it does: Requires reports on all EPA regulations relating to air, water, waste and climate change.
Job Growth: ZERO.
H.R. 2018 – Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011
What it does: Restricts the EPA from administering revisions to existing water standards (Why would anybody ever be in favor of such a batshit provision?).
Job Growth: ZERO.
H.J. Res 37
What it does: Resolution that prevents broadband net neutrality rules.
Job Growth: This could actually harm job growth.
H.R. 872– Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011
What it does: Allows states to approve the use of already-controlled pesticides.
Job Growth: Zero.
As you can see, beyond simply being ridiculous, these various Acts are essentially deregulation. Deregulation has been the major game plan of the Republican Party in a majority of their policies, but how much does government regulation truly affect business?
When asked about the current GOP belief that deregulation will create job growth, former advisor to President Reagan, Bruce Bartlett, responded: “It’s just nonsense. It’s just made up.”
In a survey featured last year in The Wall Street Journal, 65% of economists did not see government regulation as having a negative effect on the economy.
House Majority Leader and hellspawn, Eric Cantor, wrote in a memorandum that the abolishing of regulations should be a priority, writing: “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.”
When Small Business Majority surveyed 1,257 small-business owners to name the two biggest issues they deal with, only 13% cited government regulation.
We know government regulation has become the boogeyman with which the GOP likes to scare business (big and small), but how much has regulation ACTUALLY affected business?
Since President Obama took office, the Labor Department data reads two-tenths of 1% of layoffs were due to government regulation.
Among the above legislation, more bills remain in the purgatory of the Republican House, including the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011 requiring the EPA to approve drilling within six months (specifically off the coast of Alaska), which could create 54,000 jobs. Of course, the GOP doesn’t advertise that the Act exempts drilling companies from using pollution control technology, among other potential negative environmental possibilities.
Interesting number when compared to the American Jobs Act’s support of 51,500 jobs. Let me specify, that’s 51,500 jobs… in California alone.