House Republicans file bills aimed at cutting down on occupational licensing regulations

President Joe Biden’s GOP critics have long asserted that his domestic policy agenda will harm the economy and cost American jobs while reducing future opportunities for U.S. workers.

Now, two House Republicans have filed a pair of bills intended to confront what proponents describe as a “job-killing Biden agenda,” according to the Daily Caller.

“Barriers to competition”

Both of the proposals seek to address the competition-limiting practice of occupational licensing. Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) introduced the “Restoring Board Immunity Act of 2021” while Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) filed the “Freedom to Work Act.”

For his part, Issa hopes to extend antitrust law immunity to state-level occupational licensing boards for actions taken on the condition that those boards implement a proposed reform plan.

One of those reforms involves licensing boards subjecting themselves to “day-to-day supervision” or an oversight board with the authority to review occupation regulations. Another would allow states to authorize a legal cause of action against licensing board requirements.

In a statement, Issa defended the bill, arguing: “Government must never create barriers to competition, harm the consumer interest, or interfere with anyone doing their job. This legislation is an overdue reform and will make a lasting difference in helping people across the country get back to work.”

The other bill recently submitted in the House would create a requirement for federal agencies to regularly review their own policies and regulations to identify any that compel states to impose licensing requirements for certain occupations. Those that do compel such licensing would then be changed, either by the agency or by other means, to a less restrictive requirement where possible.

“Keep would-be workers out”

“With return to work slowing back to a crawl under President Biden’s failing leadership, we need to look at new ways to help Americans re-enter the workforce,” Harshbarger said, as the Daily Caller reported.

She went on to assert that many requirements passed “under the guise of consumer safety are simply a big government power grab to prevent competition and keep would-be workers out of a particular market.”

The lawmaker said passing her proposed bill would direct “states and federal government to identify unnecessary occupational licensing barriers that are preventing Americans from returning to the workplace,” reiterating her commitment “to eliminating red tape that is keeping Americans out of work.”

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) spoke out in support of the two bills, insisting that their combined efforts should be embraced by the entire GOP, according to the Daily Caller.

“Last month’s lackluster jobs report proved we can’t buy full employment with taxpayer dollars,” he said, declaring that “Harshbarger and Issa’s bills will tear down bureaucratic red tape and make America fairer and more prosperous.”

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