Biden’s Administration in Hot Water: GOP Demands Clarity on Anti-Business Tactics

In a bold move, House Republicans are demanding answers from the Biden administration, challenging the rising tide of fees and regulations that they describe as a “regulatory onslaught against the backbone of America – our Main Street.”

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce, under the leadership of Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chairman Kevin Kiley (R-Calif.), penned a letter dated Aug. 15 to the Department of Labor (DOL) Acting Secretary Julie A. Su. The letter seeks clarity on the DOL’s adherence to federal laws when crafting new regulations. They pointedly stated, “We’ve received alarming reports suggesting that the DOL might be bypassing crucial rulemaking procedures.”

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, the Committee referenced a hearing where the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy revealed significant lapses in compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The Committee’s message was clear: they demand transparency and accountability to ensure that the DOL respects its RFA obligations.

Supporting this initiative, the House Committee on Small Business disclosed that they’ve sent 39 letters to the Biden administration. These letters question the introduction of over $400 billion in fresh regulations, translating to an overwhelming 230 million hours of new paperwork.

Chairwoman Foxx and Chairman Kiley further spotlighted a concerning statistic: “During the 117th Congress, 28 instances were recorded where federal agencies blatantly disregarded the RFA. Shockingly, the DOL was responsible for 18% of these oversights.”

The primary focus of the Education and Workforce Committee is to ensure the DOL’s strict adherence to the RFA. This pivotal legislation mandates that government agencies fully understand the implications of their rules on small businesses. The RFA requires agencies to provide two analyses for each new law, ensuring that small businesses can handle the burden. However, evidence suggests that the DOL has been playing fast and loose with these guidelines.

The Committee’s investigation has unearthed instances where the DOL issued conflicting statements, causing confusion and raising eyebrows at the Office of Advocacy. This pattern of inconsistency not only deviates from regulatory norms and jeopardizes understanding how new rules might affect small businesses, opening the door to potential legal battles.

In light of these revelations, the Committee demands written explanations from the DOL, particularly about their inconsistent rule analyses. They’ve set a deadline of Aug. 29 for the DOL’s response, which is eagerly anticipated as a litmus test of the agency’s dedication to regulatory compliance.

The Committee’s letter concluded with a stern warning: “By neglecting to assess the impact on small businesses thoroughly, the DOL is eroding trust in its rulemaking process and seems to be governing by executive decree.”

In a related move, House Republicans, led by Chairman Roger Williams (R-Texas) of the House Committee on Small Business, questioned the Biden administration’s return-to-work policy. Williams remarked, “While Main Street America has been back in business for months, the federal government is dragging its feet. It’s high time they align with the rhythm of the American people.”

The Department of Labor has yet to respond to these pressing concerns. But one thing is clear: House Republicans are fiercely advocating for the interests of small businesses, ensuring they aren’t stifled by bureaucratic red tape.