Frank's Footnotes Newsletter: Getting Rid of Red Tape

Voting to Keep a Job-Crushing Tax from Taking Effect

The House acted Thursday to prevent patients from paying more for medical devices starting next January, and to protect jobs at the companies that produce those products. I voted in favor of H.R. 436, the Health Care Cost Reduction Act, and was a proud co-sponsor of this important legislation (click here to read more about it).

Next January, a new 2.3% tax contained within the 2010 health care reform law, will be imposed on the sale of medical devices. That is expected to hit medical manufacturers hard, forcing them to cut workers, pass the cost of the tax on to consumers, and scale back spending on research and development.

New Hampshire is home to about 50 medical manufacturing firms that employ approximately 3,800 people. Most of them work at small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. One industry study estimates up to 43,000 of these good, middle-class jobs could vanish nationally as a result of the new tax – jobs we can’t lose right now. We simply can’t afford to let this job-crushing tax take effect.

I’m committed to using my vote to repeal legislation, to stop excessive taxes and to end overzealous regulations that are strangling New Hampshire families and small businesses.

A Victory Against Competition-Destroying Project Labor Agreements

I announced Monday that the U.S. Department of Labor has indicated it is withdrawing the controversial Project Labor Agreement (PLA) requirement for the Manchester Job Corps Center. That mandate has delayed construction of the facility for an unacceptably long time.  Click here to read more about it.

An Executive Order issued in 2009 by President Obama encouraged federal agencies to consider requiring the use of PLA’s on large-scale construction projects. The fight against PLA’s isn’t union-bashing; it’s about fairness. PLA’s divert limited taxpayer dollars away from funding for important projects. We need a level playing field where all contractors get a fair shake. When that happens taxpayers get a good deal, and that’s good for everyone.

I’ve been a leader in the House in the fight to restrict PLA’s. It was one reason why I received the Associated Builders and Contractors “Free Enterprise Legislator of the Year” award in 2011. Please know I will continue fighting against PLA’s at every opportunity.

Going After Red Tape

I attended two important events in New Hampshire on Monday that focused the spotlight on excessive federal regulation.

The day began with a House Oversight and Government Reform field hearing in Exeter called “EPA Overreach and the Impact on New Hampshire Communities.” It examined National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits proposed by the EPA for communities in the Great Bay Estuary, including Dover, Exeter, Newmarket, Rochester and Portsmouth. The hearing focused in particular on the role of the EPA and the state in the permitting process, as well as the potential economic impact of the EPA’s proposed requirements.

We all want to see Great Bay protected and preserved for future generations. These permits would place serious financial hardship on local governments, communities and families. I am mindful of the environmental issues at stake, and they must be thoughtfully considered. But as I have said before, I am concerned over-zealous government regulation is getting ahead of the science, and taxpaying citizens might wind up getting hurt as a result. I’m working to prevent that from happening.

That afternoon, I hosted a “Red Tape Forum” in Manchester. Job creation often starts at the local level with small businesses. But all too often, onerous federal regulation stymies economic growth and prevents job creators from hiring more employees. Dozens of New Hampshire business people joined me, along with Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. For an hour, we listened as participants discussed their problems and concerns with issues ranging from the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Dodd-Frank financial oversight law, and other intrusive federal regulations.  Click here to read an article on my Red Tape Forum in the Union Leader.

Manufacturing Jobs Summit Finale Next Wednesday

My three-part Manufacturing Jobs Summit series comes to an end next Wednesday. The final summit will be held at 9:30 a.m. on June 13th at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Room 5001 (West Wing), Saint Anselm College, 100 St. Anselm Drive in Manchester. The first two summits were held earlier this spring in Portsmouth and Laconia. The series is part of my ongoing “Getting Granite Staters Back to Work” jobs initiative.

New Hampshire manufacturers know what’s necessary for this important sector of our economy to expand in the coming years. They don’t need Congress and Washington bureaucrats telling them what they should do – they need a partner in Congress to work with them in achieving their goals. These Manufacturing Jobs Summits are creating that partnership and are laying the foundation for us to move ahead together.

Click here for more information on my Manufacturing Jobs Summit.

Tele-Town Hall Time

What do nearly 10,000 of your fellow Granite Staters have in common? They all joined me Thursday evening for my latest Tele-Town Hall conference call. People asked questions about issues ranging from the future of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to taxes and the economy, and many things in between.

Tele-Town Halls are an important tool for me to stay connected with folks in New Hampshire while I’m working on Capitol Hill. It provides me an opportunity to let you know what’s going on in Congress, and to ask me questions. Communication is a two-way street, after all. It’s important that I hear your thoughts, concerns, questions and ideas so I can better serve you in the U.S. House of Representatives.