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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) joined Representative Lee Terry (R-NE) in introducing legislation to force the Federal Government to take into account the impact of any proposed regulation on jobs and the economy.
The Employment Impact Act would require all federal agencies to complete a “Jobs Impact Statement” when there is the potential for job loss because of a federal action. The statements would be similar to “Environmental Impact Statements” but would specifically examine and detail the impact on jobs of federal decisions.
“It’s unacceptable that the federal government requires environmental analyses, but doesn’t bother to look at the impact of its policies on jobs,” said Barrasso. “We need to make it easier and cheaper, not harder and more expensive for the private sector to create jobs. Our bill will encourage job-growth and finally hold Washington accountable for its job-crushing regulations.”
“We cannot risk allowing poorly-planned regulations to continue prohibiting job growth in the United States,” said Terry. “With our economy struggling, onerous or misguided regulations from unelected federal agencies are more than just a necessary inconvenience to American small businesses – they are proving to be a back breaker. The American taxpayer deserves to know just what these new regulations will cost or add to our economy.”
Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and David Vitter (R-LA) are original cosponsors of the Employment Impact Act.
Currently, the Federal Government considers the impact on the environment before approving permits or undertaking any activity. These are done through “Environmental Impact Statements” and environmental assessments required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
Often, these environmental reviews lead to the denial of permits for a host of economic activity (approving mines, oil and natural gas extraction, timber harvesting etc.) and thousands of jobs are lost in the process.
The Employment Impact Act attempts to address this by requiring that the agencies of the Federal Government do a “Jobs Impact Statement” when there is the potential for job loss because of a federal action. The statement would include:
a) An assessment of the jobs that would be lost and gained as a result of the proposed action.
b) Any adverse effect on jobs and job opportunities which could not be avoided should the proposal be implemented.
c) Alternatives to the proposed action.
d) The relationship between any local short-term impacts on jobs and job opportunities and the maintenance and enhancements of long-term productivity.
The legislation would also require that Federal officials take into account the cumulative impact on jobs and job opportunities of concurrently pending proposals affecting a particular industry or sector of the economy.