Congressman Mike Conaway | 11th District of Texas
February 3, 2017

Conaway Chronicle: Rolling Back Obama-Era Regulations, A Story of Courage, Faith, and Teamwork, Llano Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet

Thank you for reading The Conaway Chronicle, a review of my activities in Congress and the 11th District. 

Rolling Back Obama-Era Regulations

This week, Congress employed the Congressional Review Act to roll back five costly regulations implemented by the Obama Administration. Three of these regulations were written to hurt the energy industry, one took aim at the 2nd amendment, and one would have discouraged competition for federal contracts.

Under the Obama Administration, burdensome overregulation became the new normal. One of the first orders of business under President Trump is to roll back the most harmful and unconstitutional regulations, including the BLM Methane Rule, the Stream Protection Rule, the SEC Resource Extraction Rule, the Social Security Administration’s implementation of amendments to the NICS, and the DOD, GSA, and NASA acquisition regulations.

These regulations were an atrocious abuse of executive power by President Obama, each with astronomical costs of compliance. And like many Obama Administration regulations, the BLM Methane rule, the SEC Resource Extraction Rule, and the Stream Protection Rule were designed to drive the coal, oil, and gas industries out of business. By using the Congressional Review Act to eliminate these destructive regulations, we can ensure that the same rule cannot be issued in the future- protecting Americans from overzealous rulemaking indefinitely.

The Congressional Review Act establishes special congressional procedures for disapproving of regulatory actions issued by federal agencies. Now, with a Republican President, these pieces of legislation can be signed into law. The five regulations that the House voted to overturn this week are:

H.J. Res. 38 – Disapproving Stream Protection Rule

-The Obama Administration’s Steam Protection Rule was designed to limit coal mining by implementing duplicative, unnecessary regulations with an annual compliance cost of $52 million.

H.J. Res. 36 – Disapproving BLM Methane Rule

-Methane can be captured and either piped out for other productive uses, or it can be burned off. The Obama Administration would not approve permits for pipeline construction, and the BLM Methane rule would make it illegal to burn the Methane off. This rule leaves no options for Methane removal, making it impossible for the oil and gas industry to do business.

H.J. Res 41 – Disapproving SEC Resource Extraction Rule

-Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act mandated that the SEC to create new reporting requirements for public companies involved in the oil, natural gas, or mineral development industries.

-This rule, which is outside the scope of the SEC’s mission, could cost as much as $591 million and would give foreign companies an edge over American companies.

H.J. Res. 40 – Disapproving SSA Implementation of NICS Improvement Amendments

-Under President Obama, the Social Security Administration finalized a rule that would require the agency to send the names of certain Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income recipients to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

-This rule unconstitutionally limits the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans who receive certain financial benefits and do not manage their own financial affairs.

H.J. Res 37 – Disapproving DOD, GSA, and NASA acquisition regulations

-This rule creates a duplicative process for hiring federal contractors- especially impacting small businesses who don’t have the resources that larger companies have.

-This rule costs contractors and subcontractors over $400 million to comply, and increases the bureaucratic risks that contractors face when entering into contracts with the federal government.

A Story of Courage, Faith, and Teamwork

Last Friday at the Republican retreat, Suzanne and I had the pleasure of hearing from Scott Smiley and his wife Tiffany. His is an incredible story, of a young man who graduated from West Point and was blinded while serving in Iraq. He kept his vision of becoming an Ironman, which he completed even after he was blinded. His message was of courage, faith and teamwork. What an incredible story of strength!

Llano Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet

Tuesday, the Llano Chamber of Commerce hosted the 93rd annual awards banquet, honoring citizens for their contributions to the community. Toby Fletcher, assistant principal at Llano High School, was named citizen of the year in recognition of all he has done for the children of Llano. Roland Rode was the Llano Hall of Fame recipient, honoring his hard work to better the community.

There were many other citizens honored, including Jerry and Alberta Allred as agriculture producer of the year, David Waters, Jil Dillard, Lori Gray, Karla Van Item, Mary Ellen Halamicck, and Sidone Thornton, as educators of the year. The men and women who serve Llano were also honored at this event. Congratulations to all the recipients of these awards- Llano thanks you for your service to the community!

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Rep. Mike Conaway, 11th District