TEXT OF INTERVIEW
KAI RYSSDAL: Representative Darrell Issa is the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. And he needs some help. Politico reported today that the California Republican has sent letters to more than 150 trade associations and companies, asking them to list government regulations they think are hurting the economy, hurting specifically, job growth.
Darren Goode wrote the story this morning. Welcome to the program.
DARREN GOODE: Thank you.
RYSSDAL: I want to quote one of these letters that Congressman Issa wrote. This one is to the National Association of Manufacturers. He says, “I ask for your assistance in identifying existing and proposed regulations that have negatively impacted job growth in your members’ industry.” Then he goes on, “Additionally, suggestions on reforming identified regulations and the rulemaking process would be appreciated.” That’s a fairly broad appeal for input.
GOODE: It is. He cast a very wide net. He sent this to 150 groups, and these groups run the gamut, really. We’re talking about telecommunications, health care providers, energy companies, car companies, manufacturers, chemical companies. I mean, he really did go out there and try to get input from about everyone that you can think of.
RYSSDAL: And I imagine they are obliging him and giving him all kinds of suggestions.
GOODE: From what I understand, yes.
RYSSDAL: What kinds of thing are they saying? What regulations don’t they like? Give me a couple of the “for instances.”
GOODE: Well, I think a couple of big areas. One of is going to be the health care bill, of course. Another are the EPA regulations. There are greenhouse gas controls on major emitters like power plants, refineries — those just went into effect and a lot of industry groups are not happy about that. And there are going to be some other EPA regulations, too. But really, it runs the gamut.
RYSSDAL: Congressman Issa is the incoming head of the House Oversight Committee. He will eventually, I imagine, hold hearings based on this input that he gets, right?
GOODE: Yes, he is. He has already said he is going to hold a hearing on the jobs impact of regulations — that has not been scheduled yet, witnesses have not been scheduled yet. But we understand Republicans really want to shine a spotlight. This is really the first opportunity that they’ve had a chance to do that.
RYSSDAL: To be fair, House majorities — whether Republican or Democratic — do tend to go as far as they can in making the White House answer their questions.
GOODE: Absolutely. We saw the Democrats do this in the Bush White House as well. It’s not that unusual, frankly. But Republicans, they have an agenda right now. Especially in the House, where they want to do oversight and investigations they feel were not done in the first two years of this administration, under Democratic rule. They’re really chomping at the bit here, I think. They were in the minority for the first two years. They sent a bunch of letters to the administration, which they said went unanswered. They wanted to hold certain hearings, but they weren’t allowed to. So this is their opportunity to really take hold of the reins and to probe regulation and other matters that they’ve been wanting to do now.
RYSSDAL: Darren Goode, reporter for Politico, on Congressman Darrell Issa’s plans for hearings and inquiries into the impact of regulations on jobs in this country. Darren, thanks a lot.
GOODE: Thank you, sir.
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