Feb. 11, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Everybody Has a Rule They Hate

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Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa received hundreds of complaints about regulations from some of the nation’s biggest and smallest companies.

When Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asked businesses for their gripes about government regulations, he received detailed dossiers from some of K Street’s heaviest hitters, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He also got a two-page missive from Captain Steve Papen, who owns Fintastic Fishing Charters in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“Our regulations and outdated regulatory methods are out of control and we need the help of OUR government to make things right,” Papen wrote to Issa’s committee through its website link that encouraged anyone to submit comments. “We are being exploited on every level and we too have the right to make a living doing something we love.”

In an interview Monday with Roll Call, Papen explained that his fishing charter business, which has two employees, is suffering largely because of regulations that have made certain fish such as red snapper and gag grouper off limits for some portion of the year.

“The way things are honestly going, I really, myself, I don’t expect to be in business much longer,” Papen said. “When somebody from Indiana comes into town, it’s hard to tell them we can go out there and fish, but you can’t keep it. You can’t eat it.”

In all, 220 corporations, associations and mom-and-pops like Papen’s gave Issa, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, their wish lists to end what they view as job-killing regulations. Most had at least some complaints with the Environmental Protection Agency. And many took the opportunity to air their grievances with the new financial regulatory structure and the new health care law.

Issa made all the letters public Monday. And in a statement, he said he wanted to work with President Barack Obama to examine regulatory barriers to job creation.

“This project should complement what President Obama has already called on his Administration to do and in concert, lead to a robust and expansive discussion about what the best way forward is to stimulate our economy,” Issa said. “This project is an opportunity for private industry to put forward detailed and specific examples so that both the American people and policymakers can determine for themselves what actions can be taken to create jobs.”

In his own statement, Oversight ranking member  Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said there must be a balance between creating jobs and protecting the American people’s health, welfare and safety.

“Although the majority requested only information regarding the potential costs of regulation — and no information regarding the key benefits to health and safety — we stand ready to work together on a more comprehensive approach in the future,” Cummings said.

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