Merits of public-safety regulation presented to Congress

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Citing the effectiveness of public safeguards, David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, advocated for reducing barriers to creating healthcare regulations before Congress’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“In light of the strong record of regulatory successes in the country and the devastating consequences of poor oversight, it is surprising that U.S. health, safety and environmental protection agencies are some of the most heavily regulated entities in the country,” said Arkush. “Congress should get to work on reducing the unnecessary burdens placed on the agencies that protect our lives and our economy.”

Arkush noted several benefits to public-safety regulations, including increased worker safety, food and drug safety and environmental protections. He also said such regulations lead to job growth. In citing dangers related to under-regulation, Arkush noted the economic crisis, the BP oil spill, the disaster at Massey Energy's Big Branch mine and a number of food and product recalls.

"There aren’t many places one finds a 700 percent return on investment, but U.S. health, safety and environmental regulation is one of them,” said Arkush. “We should reward these successes, not punish them. Congress should streamline onerous requirements on public-protection agencies and give them the resources they need to do their jobs."

Click here for a full transcript of the testimony.