Pennsylvania Members Call on Senate to Pass Bipartisan 'Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act'

Oct 31, 2011 Issues: Agriculture

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Glenn 'GT' Thompson (R-05), Jason Altmire (D-04), Bill Shuster (R-09), Mike Kelly (R-03), and Tom Marino (R-10) released the following statement regarding the Senate’s failure to take action on the bipartisan Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (H.R. 872), which would have prevented costly and duplicative regulations on farmers, ranchers, and small businesses from going into effect today. On March 31, 2011, H.R. 872 passed the House of Representatives with strong support from both Republicans and Democrats, including 15 Pennsylvania members, by a vote of 292-130.  

“The House passed the ‘Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act’ months ago with the support of members on both sides of the aisle, but the Senate has failed to act on this commonsense legislation,” said Representative Thompson, Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Energy, Conservation & Forestry. “Because of the Senate’s inaction, industries of all types, particularly our agriculture communities and family farmers, will face new and unnecessary bureaucratic red tape and costly paperwork due to these burdensome requirements. It’s time for the Senate to act and relieve employers from these excessive regulations by passing H.R. 872.”

“Western Pennsylvania small businesses have told me repeatedly that regulatory uncertainty impedes their ability to succeed and create jobs,” said Representative Altmire, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “It’s not too often we find legislation that has as much bipartisan support as this bill.  With these regulations taking effect today, the Senate should act quickly and get this bill to the president’s desk.”

"The House passed the ‘Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act’ with wide support across party lines because it is a commonsense proposal to eliminate costly and unnecessary regulations that stand in the way of job creation and economic growth," said Representative Shuster, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. "I urge our colleagues in the Senate to act immediately to approve this critical legislation so Pennsylvania farmers and the small businesses that support them can thrive."

“The ‘Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act’ is an important piece of legislation that removes duplicative permitting requirements that will hurt farmers and small businesses and will stifle growth,” said Representative Mike Kelly, member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “If we are going to strengthen our economy and get Americans back to work, we need to cut the unnecessary red tape and remove the regulatory barriers that stand in the way of our economic recovery. The Senate needs to join the House in passing this pro-growth, bipartisan legislation as quickly as possible to relieve the agricultural and business communities from this undue and costly burden.” 

“It is time for the Senate to take this big step and to help our job creators get on the road to economic recovery,” said Representative Tom Marino, member of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees. “The government will not lead our recovery but it must get out of the way so that farmers and small businesses can grow.”

H.R. 872 was introduced in response to a 2009 federal appeals court decision which determined that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must issue permits for pesticide use near waterways. The court decision was made despite the fact that the sale, use, registration and labeling of pesticides throughout the United States is already comprehensively regulated. Because pesticides are already subject to comprehensive regulations, the court order requiring EPA permitting does not create any new environmental or safety benefits. The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act would eliminate the second, redundant permitting process.

In June 2011, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed H.R. 872 out of committee and it now awaits consideration by the full Senate. Representatives Thompson, Altmire, Shuster, and Marino are all original cosponsors of the H.R. 872, which originated in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.