V.I. Delegate Stacey Plaskett opposes Republican legislation to create a powerful, unelected commission that would recommend regulations for Congress to eliminate, and has offered an amendment to ban using tax dollars for it.
In a statement, Plaskett described the proposed entity as “a partisan, unelected commission with subpoena powers to usurp the authority of Congress and jeopardize public health.”
The bill in question proposes to use $30 million in taxpayer funding to establish a commission with unlimited subpoena authority to review federal agency rules and make recommendations to Congress on which rules should be eliminated, according to Plaskett’s office.
“This legislation is nothing more than a clandestine attempt to advance corporate interests at tax payer expense. It will take regulatory review out of the hands of subject-matter experts and place it with a partisan commission appointed by the president,” Plaskett said.
“At best, this bill will increase bureaucracy and waste money. Congress already has the authority to review agency rules for repeal. At worst, it will severely jeopardize public health and safety, as it would impose a ‘cut-go’ provision in which an agency would have to repeal an existing rule and be forced to provide a cost offset to issue a new rule, even in the case of public health or national security emergencies,” Plaskett continued.
She also said Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) fast-tracked this bill with no real review, adding that Chaffetz has been adamantly opposed to increasing cost in the federal government but is now hypocritically willing to add $30 million in spending and create a powerful, new entity.
“The goal of reducing the burden of red tape on small businesses is one that I share,” Plaskett continued. “However, House leaders have usurped this bipartisan goal to produce a bill that they know cannot receive bipartisan support because it will inhibit agencies from doing their most basic functions, even in the case of an emergency or threat to public health. This Congress has money to throw at solutions in search of a problem but requires cost offsets to provide aid for victims of the Flint Water Crisis or toward Zika funding,” Plaskett said.