By Deb Fischer
U.S. Senator 

Rolling back regulations


Few Americans will ever forget being told Congress had to first pass the healthcare law “to find out what is in it.” Well, almost exactly three years ago, the bill was passed and now we know the secret ingredient: 20,000 pages of new federal regulations, amounting to a towering stack of paper 7 feet 3 inches tall.

This is just one example of the endless amount of red tape coming out of Washington. Though some regulation is necessary to ensure health and safety, overregulation places unnecessary burdens on job creators and is devastating to economic growth.

In order for our economy to grow and businesses to thrive, we must get government out of the way and foster an environment that promotes job creation and competitiveness.

As a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I have engaged in several legislative efforts to help provide much-needed regulatory relief for Nebraska’s business owners, farmers, and ranchers.

Specifically, I support the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, an important effort to restore accountability in Congress for the regulations proposed by the Executive Branch. In Nebraska and across America, citizens face countless new federal mandates and unsolicited rules proposals, ranging from restrictions on young people working on family farms to unwise attempts to regulate farm dust.

From 2009 through 2011, 106 new major regulations were imposed on American businesses, costing more than $46 billion annually. The legislation addresses this growing tide of red tape by requiring both chambers of Congress to approve every major new rule proposed by the Executive Branch before it can be enforced on the American people. The REINS Act was introduced in the last Congress, and I look forward to working with my colleagues this Congress to secure its passage.

I also recently joined my colleagues as a cosponsor of the Regulatory Responsibility for our Economy Act in an effort to require the executive branch, responsible for issuing regulations, to review and repeal duplicative and onerous rules hurting job creation. The legislation also ensures that federal agencies account for the economic impact of regulations they issue as well as modify, streamline, or repeal significant regulatory actions that are unnecessary or overly burdensome.

I am pleased to announce a constituent outreach effort, “Rolling Back Regulations: Nebraskans Speak Out” to allow Nebraskans to voice what specific regulations are hindering their farms, ranches or businesses. This forum will serve as another way to highlight the pressing need for comprehensive regulatory reform.

I encourage you to visit my website,, to share with my staff and me the specific federal regulations that are adversely impacting you and your family. Whether you are being fined a penalty of thousands of dollars for simply having a ladder leaning against a wall, or dealing with new compliance costs, my staff and I will review and highlight your submissions as examples of the unnecessary challenges the federal government is placing upon our nation’s job creators.

In the coming weeks, I will also have the opportunity to question the president’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gina McCarthy. As many Nebraskans know, the EPA is responsible for scores of new rules and regulations each year. I hope to include your comments and suggestions when I question Ms. McCarthy to ensure she understands the real-world impact of federal overregulation.

Under the “Priorities” page of my website, you will find a form to submit your name, location and the specific regulation you believe should be rolled back.

I share the belief of many Nebraskans that the federal government should be held accountable for the rules it puts in place, and I look forward to hearing from you in this effort to roll back regulations hurting Nebraska’s agriculture, businesses, and economy.

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Thank you for taking part in our democratic process, and I’ll visit with you again next week.

Sen. Fischer’s staff can be contacted at 202-224-6551.


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