On Tuesday, Bush did it again, this time unveiling a new regulatory reform plan during a meeting with farmers in Gladbrook, Iowa. His plan seizes on a basic Republican rallying cry: that the Obama administration has stifled job growth and further expanded the size, scope and power of government through federal regulations.
"Leaders in Washington have increasingly fallen prey to a 'regulators-know-best' mentality, which drives them to dictate choices and control the economy," the Bush campaign says in a document outlining the plan. "This is the basis for President Obama’s infamous and sometimes unconstitutional 'phone and pen' strategy to govern through regulation, disregarding Congress and the states."
"Regulation should be practical and focused on important public concerns: It should not be a source of paralysis or central planning," the document adds.
According to the document, if Bush becomes president, he would immediately freeze the implementation of any Obama-era regulations not yet implemented. He would require agencies to track the "real world costs" of any new federal rules. He would establish an independent commission to perform a "regulatory spring cleaning" — similar to how the Base Realignment and Closure Commission reduced the military's real estate portfolio — with a mandate to do so "from the perspective of regulated entities."
Bush also would move to end what he calls the "abusive practice" of "sue and settle" — when a special interest group files suit against a federal agency and the case is eventually settled. Bush would instead push agencies to ensure that the wider public has input in such cases.
In the document previewing his plan, Bush calls out several Obama administration regulations for adversely affecting economic growth. The "Carbon Rule" by the Environmental Protection Agency "will likely result in substantial price increases — often of more than 10 percent — to many families’ energy bills without meaningfully affecting either global emissions or temperature," the campaign writes.
The Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reforms has created a "two-tiered banking system" that makes it "increasingly difficult" for many Americans to obtain loans to start or expand businesses. Endangered Species Act rules to protect the Spotted Owl "have done little to protect the owl and much to decimate the timber industry in the Northwest and the jobs and the towns it supported." The Food and Drug Administration's rules on sunscreens mean that "safe sunscreens available elsewhere in the world cannot be found in America’s stores." And the FDA's "regulations make food more expensive without materially improving health outcomes."
In each case, the Bush campaign cites research or white papers prepared by conservative think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute, op-eds written in publications including the Wall Street Journal, or research conducted by business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers.
The Democratic National Committee blasted Bush's new proposals. Spokeswoman Christina Freudlich said that Bush "is taking his dangerous agenda a step further today with the hopes to dismantle protections that keep consumers protected, our air clean, our water safe and our children happy and healthy. Jeb Bush, once again, is only looking out for Jeb Bush."
Bush campaigned in Mason City, Iowa, on Monday night, just hours after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced that he was quitting the GOP presidential race. The fact that Walker and former Texas governor Rick Perry have left the Republican race shouldn't be a bad omen for his own chances, Bush said.
"Clearly my record, the record of Walker, the record of Governor (Rick) Perry, are records of accomplishment,” he said after a campaign event, according to The Des Moines Register. “You cannot say that Scott Walker or Rick Perry or myself are insiders in Washington. We got to disrupt the order of our state capitals, and people were better off because of it."