"Issa and the U.S. Chamber in 1911 would have called fire escapes and water sprinklers 'job killers.'" — Donald Cohen, Cry Wolf Project
Despite a century's worth of tragic, fatal lessons, many on the right continue to insist on rolling back safety, health, environmental, and consumer protections that were put in place to safeguard the lives and health of the American people. Leading the deregulation posse is Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who would prefer a Wild West-style corporate landscape with limited government influence.
Issa is intent on becoming the mouthpiece of big business in Washington. He solicited letters from over 150 trade associations, conservative think tanks, and corporations asking which federal regulations they would like him to target for investigation. Although he's only been the chairman for a few months, Issa has already used the Oversight Committee to investigate so-called "Regulatory Impediments To Job Creation" in a hearing largely comprised of right-wing testimony from conservative scholars and business heads — including at least one major donor to his campaigns. They used the opportunity to attack government regulations en masse, including clean air protections and workplace safety standards.
Issa is no stranger to the deregulation movement. He ran for office on a platform of opposition to government regulation and has a record of rhetoric and votes against laws that would protect the health and safety of Americans.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has stepped up in the current Congress as the foremost proponent of deregulation. Following the 2010 election, he asked trade associations, companies, and right-wing think tanks to "tell him which Obama administration regulations to target." Issa used the letters he received in response as the centerpiece of a hearing on "Regulatory Impediments To Job Creation," which he said was intended to "validate" the concerns of Big Business so that other committees could push for deregulation. Issa also co-sponsored legislation to repeal the 2010 health care and financial regulation laws. These actions are only the latest in a House career focused on deregulation; indeed, Issa reportedly first ran for office because he was concerned that the federal government was "ruining America with taxes and regulations."