A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975, E-Mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org.
Issue #44 * July 10,1996 * David A. Ridenour, Editor
Despite making good faith efforts to comply with all federal regulations, some small business owners nevertheless find themselves in violation of the law because regulations are too often ambiguous or confusing. As early as next week, the House Judiciary Committee could mark-up a bill to help rectify the situation by essentially requiring that regulations come with an English translation. The bill is the "Regulatory Fair Warning Act" (H.R. 3307) and it is sponsored by Representative George W. Gekas (R-PA). If approved, the measure would discourage federal agencies from imposing punitive sanctions for regulatory violations if 1.) the public was not given adequate notice of the regulation's requirements or 2.) the requirements of the regulation were unclear. "Adoption of this legislation will encourage agencies to keep the regulated public aware of what their regulations require of them," said Representative Gekas. "This is a moderate measure, meant to provide a minimum of security and predictability to the regulated community and to improve the relationship between agencies and private citizens." For more information, contact Representative Gekas' office at 202/225-4315.
The Senate passed a 90 cent per hour minimum wage hike on July 9 in a 74-24 vote. Twenty-seven Republicans joined 47 Democrats in voting for the massive regulatory mandate, including Senators Spencer Abraham (R-MI), Rod Grams (R-MN), Strom Thurmond (R-SC), and Frank Murkowski (R-AK) -- Senators not normally known for being anti-small business. Before final passage, Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) offered an amendment exempting very small businesses from the mandate. The amendment failed with Republicans Ben Campbell (CO), James Jeffords (VT), Arlen Specter (PA), Alfonse D'Amato (NY) and Mark Hatfield (OR) joining the chamber's Democrats in opposing the measure. "The defeat of my amendment was orchestrated and led by the President," said Senator Bond. "Make no mistake about it, a vote against my amendment is a vote to kill jobs, because that is exactly what will happen in the small business sector when this new mandate goes into effect. I have to conclude by his actions that Bill Clinton is no friend of small business." Contact Senator Bond's office at 202/224-5175.
The American Land Rights Association (ALRA) says the Omnibus Property Rights Act (S. 605) is in danger because Senate leaders have been advised that it is politically risky. To the contrary, the ALRA argues that property rights can be a winning issue for those who support S. 605. As evidence, the group cites a quote from Democrat pollster Celinda Lake: "If one ever lets the Republicans convince voters that either Democrats or the environmental groups are anti-private property, then I think it could be a very dangerous issue," said Lake. " I think it's one of the most serious issues the environmentalists should worry about because it is such a core value to the people." The ALRA is urging an "all out call to action," including calls to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's office and other Senate offices. For more information, contact the American Land Rights Association at 360/687-3087.
Remember to show how excessive regulation affects the most disadvantaged Americans. Blacks and Hispanics pay the highest price of excessive regulation. For one, the cost of regulatory compliance falls heavier on small businesses than large ones -- and the vast majority of minority-owned firms are small. Second, when regulations cause economic slowdowns, minorities lose their jobs disproportionately. Department of Labor statistics show that minorities are harder hit because they tend to be concentrated in production-related occupations.
Newt Gingrich is a co-sponsor of a bill to create the National Institute on the Environment (NIE) -- an agency that would ostensibly seek "to improve the scientific basis for environmental decision-making" -- but would eventually serve as little more than a funnel for government money to environmental causes. Backed by most major environmental groups, the NIE would seek to identify new environmental risks -- including those with no scientific basis -- to justify greater and greater government funding. The result would be more burdensome and unnecessary government regulation.
Dossier is a series of concise papers published by The National Center for Public Policy Research offering biographical information of some of the key leaders and key groups in the environmental movement. The papers also feature some of the movement's most embarrassing quotes. Among the most recent additions to the 18-paper series are Dossiers on Vice President Albert Gore, Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt, the Evangelical Environmental Network, and the Humane Society of the U.S., to name only a few. For copies, visit The National Center for Public Policy Research's web site at http://www.nationalcenter.org and access the Environmental Policy Task Force section.
Planning to Go to the Conventions? Let Us Know. If you're planning to attend either the Democrat or Republican national conventions, please let the Relief Report know by sending a fax to (202) 543-5975 or e-mailing [email protected] If you have a number where you'll be staying, please include it in your fax. Regulatory relief advocates should be prepared for environmental and regulatory issues to play a prominent role in both conventions.
"Putting People Back Into the Regulatory Equation"
All correspondence to The Relief Report should be directed to: The National Center for Public Policy Research * 501 Capitol Ct., N.E. * Washington, D.C. 20002 * Tel. (202) 543-4110 * Fax (202)543-5975 * E-mail ReliefRprt @ aol.com * (C) 1996, The National Center for Public Policy Research. Coverage of meetings, activities or statements in The Relief Report does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. ###
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