Thursday, January 6, 2011
John Boehner, the new speaker, promised the incoming House members of the 112th Congress on Wednesday to “give the government back to the American people.” But away from the camera, the chamber’s new Republican leadership is busy doing the opposite.
Darrell Issa of California, the new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has sent out letters to 150 businesses and trade groups, asking them for suggestions on loosening what he called “job-killing” corporate regulations.
This, of course, has nothing to do with Mr. Boehner’s tearful populism and everything to do with the tens of millions in corporate dollars that helped propel the Republicans to power in the House. Businesses have complained about the Obama administration’s expanded, and necessary, oversight of finance, health care and food production, among other areas. Now they have helped elect a House leadership that is eager to do their bidding.
Mr. Issa did not have to wait long for answers to his query. To cite just a few: Financial companies have protested the new controls on debit-card fees, which were enacted to save small businesses billions of dollars and to lower prices. Manufacturers said they did not like the proposed E.P.A. limits on greenhouse gas emissions, intended to begin addressing global warming. There were even complaints about the cost to business of proposed federal limits on how long truck drivers can be behind the wheel, which would save lives on the highway.
None of this should be surprising, especially coming from Mr. Issa, who has already made clear his intention to harass the Obama administration with “seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks.”