Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett

Representing the U.S. Virgin Islands

Plaskett fights Republican effort to undermine federal regulations

February 27, 2017
Press Release
Offers amendment to defund the SCRUB Act

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Virgin Islands Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett is rallying against the use of taxpayer funding to establish a partisan, unelected commission with subpoena powers to usurp the authority of Congress and jeopardize public health.

H.R. 998, the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act of 2017, proposes to use $30 million in taxpayer funding to establish a commission with unlimited subpoena authority to review federal agency rules and make recommendations to Congress on which rules should be eliminated.

“This legislation is nothing more than a clandestine attempt to advance corporate interests at tax payer expense. It will take regulatory review out of the hands of subject-matter experts and place it with a partisan commission appointed by the President. At best, this bill will increase bureaucracy and waste money. Congress already has the authority to review agency rules for repeal. At worst, it will severely jeopardize public health and safety, as it would impose a “cut-go” provision in which an agency would have to repeal an existing rule and be forced to provide a cost offset to issue a new rule, even in the case of public health or national security emergencies.”

“This bill is a shameful display of Republican hypocrisy. Chairman Chaffetz, who has fast tracked this bill with no real review out of oversight has been adamantly opposed to increasing cost in the federal government.  He now sees it fit to do so at a cost of $30 Million. The goal of reducing the burden of red tape on small businesses is one that I share.  However, House leaders have usurped this bi-partisan goal to produce a bill that they know cannot receive bi-partisan support because it will inhibit agencies from doing their most basic functions, even in the case of an emergency or threat to public health. This Congress has money to throw at solutions in search of a problem, but requires cost offsets to provide aid for victims of the Flint Water Crisis or toward Zika funding,” Plaskett said.

Plaskett’s amendment would eliminate the use of tax dollars for the establishment and function of the SCRUB Act.