Incoming House Oversight Chairman on Overregulation, Government Waste

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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.); Photo: republicans.oversight.house.gov

The incoming  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman said the United States spends too much money on regulation, and much of it contributes to wasteful spending.

In an appearance on public affairs show Fox News Sunday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) assailed burdensome regulations, which he said hurt the ability of U.S. companies to compete globally. And, on CNN’s State of the Union, he said he would hold in-depth hearings on government waste stemming from the 2009 stimulus bill.

On the issue of regulation and competition, Issa said regulatory costs take money from companies, which reduces employment, overall.

“We have about $1.7 trillion worth of regulatory costs already in the government,” he said on Fox News Sunday, according to a report on The Hill’s technology blog Hillicon Valley. “If the president wants to throw another $300 or $400 billion, what he’s doing is taking it right out of businesses, right out of employment, right out of competitiveness. We need to make sure we compete.”

Issa also said bureaucratic dawdling slowed down the pace of economic recovery, decrying the lack of “shovel-ready” projects.

“And you know why nothing is shovel-ready?” Issa asked, according to a Government Executive report. “Because the bureaucracy slows down those road programs and the things that the president said was so important.”

However, Gov Exec also noted Issa’s more “conciliatory tone.”

For example, Issa said he and the president share the same goal. “Let’s first find the fraud,” he said. “Then, we can figure out how not to spend the money.”

Issa is well known for his feisty criticisms of the administration. The New York Times last summer bestowed the moniker “annoyer-in-chief,” on him, because of his vocal criticism of the president.

He also drew attention in November when he said some federal agencies and sub-agencies might have to be closed in order to reduce the deficit.

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