Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

August 6, 2013

Making the government work for the people

By Congressman Luke Messer Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — Governor Daniels used to say that “you’d be amazed how much government you never miss” when talking about reducing the size of government. Much of government’s excess is created by unelected bureaucrats who wield enormous influence over our everyday lives. The House just passed several bills to stop this bureaucratic abuse and shift the balance of power from the government back to the people where it belongs.

One such bill, the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny Act, sponsored by my good friend and Hoosier colleague, Representative Todd Young, will require Congress to affirmatively approve any Federal regulation costing more than $100 million. This bill is an important step toward stopping agencies from issuing regulations that cost jobs, lower wages, and raise prices on consumer goods. The bill provides more accountability over the regulatory process and puts a check on the power of unelected bureaucrats whose decisions impact you and your family.

Another, the Keep the IRS off Your Health Care Act, will prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from implementing any part of the President’s health care law. In recent weeks, we’ve learned that the IRS has been playing politics with tax records by targeting some groups for special scrutiny based on their political beliefs. This agency should not be trusted with more of our personal health information. Stopping the IRS from implementing ObamaCare is another way to protect as many people as possible from this disastrous law.

The IRS political targeting scandal prompted the House to pass the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which will require that agency’s employees to comply with new taxpayer protections. These safeguards make clear that hard-working taxpayers have basic rights, such as the right to privacy, confidentiality, impartiality, and in general, the guarantee of a fair and just tax system. The IRS should not be able to trample on these basic rights, either willingly or by incompetence. The House also passed the Stop Playing on Citizen’s Cash Act, which imposes a moratorium on expensive IRS conferences until reforms recommended by an IRS watchdog are implemented.

The Common Sense in Compensation Act will limit the number and size of bonuses for senior agency managers throughout the Federal government. The bill would stop these agencies from routinely awarding hefty annual bonuses to upper management, regardless of performance.

Top Federal employees shouldn’t get big raises just for doing their jobs. Other bills approved by the House will allow agencies to place employees on unpaid leave when under investigation for serious offenses and require agencies to adopt normal customer service standards.

The American People deserve better results and treatment from their government. Passage of these bills is an important step toward restoring a government that works for the people once again.