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Thune: Americans Pay the Price for Biden’s Regulatory Rampage

“[W]e are facing very serious consequences from the Biden regulatory regime – from threats to conscience rights to serious questions about the future stability of our energy supply to immense financial costs for families and businesses.”

May 9, 2024

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today spoke on the Senate floor about the consequences of the Biden administration’s out-of-control regulatory regime. Thune noted that President Biden’s burdensome regulations have led to increased prices for families, farmers, and small business owners while jeopardizing American energy security.

Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):

“Mr. President, regulations have been coming thick and fast from the Biden administration lately as the administration races to squeeze in regulations before the deadline after which they could be overturned by a new Congress.

“A recent spate of regulations brought the total regulatory costs imposed by the Biden administration in 2024 to over $1 trillion.

“$1 trillion.

“In just one year.

“All told, the Biden administration has imposed a staggering $1.47 trillion in regulatory costs since the president took office.

“$1.47 trillion.

“Compare that to President Trump, who had actually reduced regulatory costs by this point in his administration.

“But, Mr. President, perhaps I’m not being fair.

“Perhaps it’s not surprising that a Republican president didn’t impose a staggering regulatory burden.

“Let’s compare President Biden to his Democrat predecessor, President Obama.

“By this point in his first term, President Obama had imposed regulations costing $303.5 billion.

“Certainly more than President Trump.

“But, I’m afraid to say, still a long way away from President Biden.

“The total cost of President Obama’s regulations at this point in his first term doesn’t come anywhere close to President Biden’s total.

“In fact, the total cost of President Obama’s regulations to this point was roughly 20 percent of the cost of President Biden’s.

“Twenty percent.

“The Biden administration has imposed regulations costing almost five times as much as President Obama’s.

“President Biden is bringing new meaning to the phrase “the heavy hand of government.”

“Mr. President, what do we mean when we refer to regulatory costs?

“What do those look like in practice?

“Well, Mr. President, they can look like forcing electric generation facilities to spend millions of dollars to install costly carbon capture systems, as the Biden administration is doing with its new power plant rule.

“They can look like an additional $7,000 in construction costs for new homes – see President Biden’s energy efficiency requirements for affordable housing.

“They can look like imposing new vehicle emissions standards, effectively forcing car companies to spend enormous amounts of money to rejigger their supply chains and factories to produce a lot of new electric cars – even though Americans are not exactly clamoring for electric vehicles.

“They can look like forcing farmers and ranchers and other private landowners to spend tens of thousands of dollars for permits or penalties concerning water features on their private land – see the Biden administration’s “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, rule.

“I could go on.

“And, Mr. President, all of these regulatory costs have consequences.

“It stands to reason.

“If your family is facing a major unexpected medical bill, for example, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to account for it somehow – either by cutting back spending, dipping into savings, or picking up extra hours at work or a second job to increase your income.

“Similarly, if you’re a South Dakota nursing home facing a federal requirement to hire additional staff – see the Biden administration’s new nursing home staffing regulation – you’re likely going to have to do something like reduce the number of patients you care for or close your doors altogether, which is already all too common.

“Or if you’re a small business facing the new overtime rule the Biden administration recently put in place – which imposes a massive 65 percent increase in the overtime exemption threshold – you may be faced with the unappealing prospect of either increasing prices on the goods or services you provide, reducing the number of positions you have available, or lowering the base pay you offer to create room to be able to pay overtime wages.

“Or take President Biden’s power plant regulations.

“His so-called “Good Neighbor” rule and his new carbon capture and emissions regulations will not only drive up energy prices for American families and businesses, they are also likely to result in a less reliable energy supply.

“Our current assumption that we will automatically have the energy we need to power our businesses, operate our heating and air conditioning systems, run our appliances, and light our houses may not survive long-term imposition of President Biden’s power plant rules.

“And then there are still other costs.

“American taxpayers are now being forced to pay for abortion services at the VA – in defiance of federal law – thanks to a Biden administration regulation.

“And this is far from the only attempt by the Biden administration to impose its far-left social agenda through federal regulation – and endanger conscience rights in the process.

“Mr. President, we are facing serious consequences from the Biden regulatory regime – from threats to conscience rights to questions about the future stability of our energy supply to immense financial costs for families and businesses.

“$1.47 trillion in regulatory costs in less than four years.

“I shudder to think what that number will look like should we see another four.

“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”