The World Series of Regulation is really heating up to determine which federal agency can put forth rules and regulations most hostile to economic growth. It’s neck and neck between the National Labor Relations Board and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Fortunately, Congress has a tool to knock these agencies off their game.
The NLRB last December passed a rule that dramatically tilted union organizing elections to the favor of organized labor.
Under what has come to be known as “ambush elections,” unions could spring organizing elections on employers in as few as 10 days. Union elections usually take longer than a month to carry out. This major gift to unions is way too generous, even by the standards of the Obama administration.
So Congress threw some cold water on the NLRB earlier this month by employing the seldom used Congressional Review Act. The CRA allows Congress to reject an administration rule with a simple majority vote. The Senate by a 53-46 margin voted to strike down the ambush rule.
The measure now heads to the House where, it it’s approved, it’s off to the White House. And yes, it will most likely be vetoed.
But the CRA doesn’t have to be used just to send the president veto bait. Think of it as a chance to shine a big spotlight on the most offensive expansions of the regulatory state, which has grown by leaps and bounds under this president. And even with a presidential veto, it will be left to the White House to have to explain why it continues to defend bad regulations.
Consider the EPA, which is tossing around proposed new rules with seemingly not a care as to their effect on the economy. On carbon the EPA wants to dramatically reduce U.S. emissions, which will cost billions of dollars to implement and will have a negligible impact on emissions globally. On ozone, the agency is proposing what has been called “the most expensive regulation ever” that could put the entire country in nonattainment status and prohibit businesses from growing and expanding. And on water, the EPA is proposing to bring vast swaths of private property under federal regulation.
Should these economically harmful rules become finalized, Congress can and should use the CRA to put these rules under the microscope.
Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. http://www.azchamber.com/.