House Republicans pass regulatory bill; Democrats warn of repercussions

Washington – A bill that would sharply curb federal government agencies’ ability to develop and issue regulations passed out of the House July 26 mostly along partisan lines.

The Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act (H.R. 4078) would prohibit most regulatory action until the unemployment rate falls to or below 6 percent; the current rate is 8.2 percent. The bill applies to “significant” regulations that would cost the economy $50 million or more annually. Some exceptions apply, including regulations determined to be necessary because of an “imminent” threat to health or safety.

Republicans said the bill would help businesses by stopping unnecessary regulations and saving jobs. However, Democrats warned such restrictions on agencies – including OSHA – could have a negative effect on the workforce by blocking rules that could save lives.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where it was not expected to move forward.

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