U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, toured Headwaters Construction Materials in Palestine Tuesday to hear first-hand how burdensome federal regulations are affecting businesses in Texas and across the country.
“This year I’ve hosted a series of town hall meetings throughout the Fifth District of Texas, listening to the concerns of the people I represent. I’ve also heard from people all across the business spectrum, from Fortune 500 CEOs to small business owners in my district, and they all say the same thing,” Hensarling said in a news release. “At a time when paychecks are shrinking and job security is waning, the last thing business owners who are trying to create jobs need are more burdensome federal regulations from bureaucrats in Washington.
For example, Headwaters Construction Materials uses coal ash — a by-product of energy production that would otherwise end up in a landfill — and recycles it into cinderblocks.
“You would think Headwaters’ business would be exactly the kind of business the Environmental Protection Agency would support. Instead, the EPA is threatening new regulations on the ash they recycle which has created tremendous uncertainty and increased their costs to do business,” Hensarling said after observing the operation.
Headwaters CEO Kirk Benson said the Palestine plant makes concrete blocks for construction of everything from local Texas school buildings to Cowboys Stadium.
“The uncertainty surrounding potential future regulation of fly ash has affected our ability to grow this business and increase its contribution to the community. We appreciate Representative Hensarling’s attention to these issues,” Benson said.
Headwaters Construction Materials’ story is just one example of bureaucrats gone wild, Hensarling said.
“Whether it is the EPA trying to regulate every drop of water in the United States, the Consumer Product Safety Commission declaring children’s books printed before 1986 to be potentially toxic, or the Department of Energy’s desire to update water efficiency standards for the nation’s urinals, Washington regulations have injected uncertainty into the economy, causing nearly $1.7 trillion in private capital that should be at work to create jobs to stay on the sidelines,” Hensarling said. “We need a real economic growth plan that will allow employers to enlarge paychecks and expand payrolls. A major part of any economic growth plan must be to stop the onslaught of senseless red tape coming from unelected Washington bureaucrats, who are currently running wild under the Obama administration.”
Hensarling said he is a strong supper of the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require congressional approval for proposed major regulations — those costing more than $100 million — instead of the current process where regulations go into effect unless both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate both vote to overturn it.
“Americans want paychecks, not more unemployment checks,” Hensarling said. “We need a federal government that will work with the private sector to create private sector jobs, not load more government bureaucrats on its back. Government must open opportunities, not smother them; foster productivity, not stifle it. When Washington stops threatening and punishing the job creators I have no doubt our economy will come roaring back.”
Hensarling is a leading fiscal conservative and Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.