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Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Wants a Regulatory Moratorium Pegged to Unemployment

Introducing the Regulation Moratorium and Job Preservation Act

12:20 PM, Aug 5, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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Lately there's been a spate of businessmen loudly complaining about the burdensome regulatory climate of the Obama administration. Fortunately, there's at least one highly experienced businessman in the Senate that feels their pain. Until he was elected last fall, Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson was CEO of a plastics manufacturing company and knows all about the problems of excess regulation.

To that end Johnson has just introduced the S. 1438, the Regulation Moratorium and Job Preservation Act. The bill calls for a moratorium on federal regulations until the unemployment rate hits 7.7 percent – which is just below what it was when President Obama was sworn into office. Here's Johnson's statement on the bill: 

According to the White House, we’re now into the third year of the Obama ‘recovery.’ But job growth is anemic, and companies are still laying off workers. You would think that Washington would be focused on job creation. Instead, the White House is intent on adding new layers of job-killing regulation.
 
With unemployment at 9.2 percent, and employers nationwide fearful about the Obama agenda, regulators should take a pause. The EPA’s Boiler MACT rule for example, would cost as much as $20.7 billion, and risk 338,000 jobs.  There’s no reason for the EPA to go forward with such a costly new rule when the economy is in terrible shape. My legislation gives workers and employers a break.

The bill already has 19 co-sponsors in the Senate. It does allow the president to lift the moratorium for national security reasons or in times of national emergency. Senate Democrats are probably unlikely to go along with the bill, but it certainly will make them squirm. And Johnson's bill could well force debate one of the biggest impediments to job growth.

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