(House of Representatives - January 12, 2017)

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[Page H395]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                     WE HAVE HIT THE GROUND RUNNING

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Lewis) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. LEWIS of Minnesota. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to say how 
incredibly proud I am to be representing Minnesota's SecondDistrict. It 
is an honor that I do not take lightly, and I am excited to get to work 
for my constituents.
  Here in the House we have hit the ground running. During my first 2 
weeks in Congress, we took steps to jump-start oureconomy by addressing 
the massive web of regulations that were issued by unelected and 
unaccountable bureaucrats in theadministration. In fact, 2016 was a 
record-breaking year for Federal agencies. Unfortunately, the record 
they set is not a goodone.
  In 2016 alone, there were 3,853 finalized rules and regulations, 
amounting to 97,110 pages. That is more than any year inhistory. Based 
on the page numbers alone, this amount of regulations may seem 
staggering, but the economic costs are even moredamaging. In 2015, 
regulations cost American consumers and small businesses an estimated 
$1.88 trillion in lost economicproductivity and higher prices.
  Many in Washington have started to call Federal regulators the fourth 
branch of government, unelected branch of governmentwhen it comes from 
the agencies. For too long, these regulators have run rampant, hurting 
our small businesses, stifling jobgrowth, and hampering our economy. In 
fact, we have had one of the slowest economic recoveries coming out of 
a severe recessionin modern times.
  That is why, last week, I was proud to join my colleagues in passing 
the REINS Act and the Midnight Rules Relief Act.Additionally, this week 
we passed the Regulatory Accountability Act. Today I am proud to 
introduce my first piece oflegislation, the Reforming Executive 
Guidance Act. This will further increase transparency and ensure that 
regulatory agenciesare held accountable for their actions.
  My bill will ensure that significant guidance documents promulgated 
by the regulatory agencies are subject to congressionalreview. These 
guidance documents are only meant to clarify regulations. However, over 
the years, executive agencies have usedthese guidance documents more 
and more often to expand their power and make significant policy 
changes. We are the accountablebranch who are to make those policy 
changes. These policy changes are negatively affecting our businesses 
and imposing thesesignificant costs on our economy.
  My bill simply ensures that significant guidance documents are fully 
subject to the Congressional Review Act and theAdministrative Procedure 
Act's notice and comment requirement. Not only does this increase 
congressional oversight, it alsoincreases transparency, as the public 
will now have the ability to review these guidance documents before 
they are finalized. Iask my colleagues to join me in supporting this 
straightforward, commonsense legislation.
  I look forward to working with my colleagues throughout the 115th 
Congress as we address the major issues facing theAmerican people.