Rouzer, U.S. House Republicans as they roll out a new agenda

Federal Focus

Madeline Gray—North State Journal
U.S. Congressman David Rouzer addresses the crowd at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Novo Nordisk facility in Clayton on Monday

As part of a new series, North State Journal will bring readers an in-depth look at the work of each member of North Carolina’s Washington, D.C. legislative delegation.WASHINGTON, D.C — As much of the country focuses on soundbites and podium pounding, U.S. lawmakers, including North Carolina’s Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC) have been working on setting a six-part policy agenda, called A Better Way, that they hope will not only get traction in Congress, but will also find its way to the campaign trail.This week Rouzer joined U.S. House Republicans in offering what they say is the centerpiece of the agenda: a 22-page Regulatory Reform package designed to re-direct many of the policy “guides” recently pushed down to states through federal agencies back through the legislative process. The authors of this package call the executive agencies the “fourth branch of government” and say that the carefully set up system of checks and balances has been eroded, often elevating the regulatory power of these agencies beyond their intended scope.”We won’t be able to fix our safety net, we wouldn’t be able to rebuild our military or pare back the red tape until we put the people back into the driver’s seat,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan in an event unveiling the proposal. “We will lose our freedoms in this country, including all of the Bill of Rights if we don’t robustly defend the separation of powers. We’re going to fight for those rights on behalf of our citizens so that we remain a self-governing people.”Critics say that the White House’s recent issuance of regulations through federal agencies is an effort end-run the legislature. However, many also say that efforts to put policy into effect without Congress is not a new strategy for outgoing presidents. Most recently, the Department of Labor issued an advisory that raised the wage threshold for overtime pay from $23,660 annually to $47,476 annually.”It’s been going on for years, but it’s been a particularly acute problem recently,” said Rouzer. “These rules and regulations that Congress has no vote on are really a great hindrance to economic growth. This is the biggest frustration for us. Anything that impacts the economy to this degree congress ought to have a vote on it.”This week Rouzer, who represents the seventh district covering coastal sections of eastern North Carolina also focused on beach nourishment efforts through legislation to boost U.S. economic competitiveness by protecting and maintaining harbors, dams, flood zones, and other water resources infrastructure.”Fifty percent of my district is coastal so beach nourishment is a very high priority,” said Rouzer. “Waterways are no different than our roads, bridges and highways. The House Transportation and Infrastructure committee marked up the Water Resources Reform and Development Act just the other week and it has provisions that address our beach nourishment needs.”Next week the House is expected to put forward two more pieces of the policy agenda, an alternative to the Affordable Care Act and a tax reform package.”Most people know that we are that we are going to be unyieldingly opposed to Obamacare and would repeal it, but hardly anyone knows what we actually propose instead,” he said. “I’m excited about what we are putting on the table.”These initiatives have been in the works for some time and Republican lawmakers are hoping that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will study them and bring some of these ideas out onto the campaign trail.”We have to have someone of like mind in the White House to work with us on these things,” said Rouzer. “That’s what this agenda initiative is really about. We want to show America what Republicans would do if we have the opportunity to govern. There are a lot of really good ideas to really move the country forward.”