2/3/2017 Rokita Report - Reversing the Tide on Regulations, Empowering Parents, & More

Feb 3, 2017 Issues: Education

Dear Friend,

Thank you for the opportunity to update you on the work of the 115th Congress.  I trust this finds you and your family well, as we work together to bring Hoosier common sense to Washington.

For daily updates, please take a moment to "Like" my Facebook page by clicking here  or follow me on Twitter if you prefer  @ToddRokita.


In this week's Rokita Report

  • Reversing the Tide on Regulations
  • Promoting School Choice to Empower Kids and Parents
  • Judge Gorsuch, President Trump's Supreme Court Nominee


Reversing the Tide on Regulations

This week, the House of Representatives and President Donald Trump have been pushing back on the regulatory state.

The House has voted to reject five Obama-era regulations.  We passed five resolutions of disapproval, that if passed by the Senate, will allow President Trump to end these regulations and will prevent the regulatory agencies from issuing similar regulations in the future.  The resolutions we passed are:

  • H.J. Res. 38 - Disapproving of the Stream Protection Rule from the Department of Interior which would create duplicative regulations and significant compliance burdens that hurt the coal industry.  This will undo one of the most egregious regulations to have come from the liberal war on coal.
  • H.J. Res. 36 - Disapproving of the Bureau of Land Management's "Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation" rule which also hurt America's energy production by requiring oil and gas producer to reduce waste and emissions even when it is economically impossible to do so.
  • H.J. Res. 41 - Disapproving of the Securities and Exchange Commission's rule on the "Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers" which would require mineral extraction issuers to report payments made to governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals, even when the information is sensitive or prohibited by the laws of another country.  American businesses should never be placed at a competitive disadvantage with their foreign competitors. 
  • H.J. Res. 40 - Disapproving of the Social Security Administration's rule on the implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 which could prevent some Americans with disabilities from purchasing or possessing firearms based on their decision to seek Social Security benefits.  This rule endangers the Second Amendment rights of law abiding American citizens.
  • H.J. Res. 37 - Disapproving of the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration rule on federal acquisition regulation which requires federal contractors to disclose findings of non-compliance with labor laws.  The rule would bog down federal procurement with unnecessary and burdensome processes.

I introduced two resolutions of disapproval for Obama-era regulations which are:

  • H.J. Res. 57 - Disapproving of a Department of Education regulation on accountability and state plans related to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  As a coauthor of ESSA, I know that this regulation fails to meet its written intention.  The regulation dictates accountability requirements and violates prohibitions on the Secretary of Education's authority designed to empower parents, teachers, and the local communities over Washington.
  • H.J. Res. 54 - Disapproving of the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rule relating to the documentation requirements for certain related-party interests.  This regulation, as finalized, actually makes it more difficult for companies to bring funds back to the United States.  A multi-national company looking to expand its American operations would face large tax burdens if it tried to use its money earned outside of the United States to fund the expansion.

President Trump also introduced an executive order directing agencies to roll back two regulations for every new regulation that is drafted.  I have been fighting government red tape and federal regulations since coming to Congress in 2011, and today President Trump has given us a tool to undo many of the burdensome regulations of the past eight years.  These regulations have stifled innovation, and kept job growth at a historically low rate.  Rolling them back will prove to be a win for Hoosiers and the small businesses across our state. 

Promoting School Choice to Empower Kids and Parents

Yesterday, I chaired a Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education hearing entitled “Helping Students Succeed Through the Power of School Choice.”  The hearing focused on efforts underway across the country to provide parents more options when it comes to their children’s education.

The purpose of my subcommittee’s efforts has always been to make sure every child has the opportunity to receive an excellent education.  That’s a mantra we repeat often around here, and for good reason.  I remain optimistic that this Congress will choose to support students and advance policies to ensure every child receives an excellent education.  I know that when parents have a choice, kids have a chance.

Full video of the hearing can be found by clicking on the above image.


Judge Gorsuch, President Trump's Nominee for the Supreme Court

This week, President Trump announced the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the United States Supreme Court.  Judge Gorsuch has been nominated to replace the vacant seat of Justice Antonin Scalia, who was a true defender of our Constitution and the God-given rights it enshrines.

Last year, President Trump presented his list of potential Supreme Court nominees, pledging to choose a nominee from it who will respect our Constitution and not use it to legislate from the bench.  He has delivered on his promise by choosing from that list.  This nomination is a win for all Americans, as Judge Gorsuch has a long record of commonsense Constitutional decisions.  I have no doubt that Judge Gorsuch will be an asset on the Court for years to come.  I urge my colleagues in the Senate to confirm him.


Thank you for your continued interest in Congress and for supporting my efforts to bring Hoosier common sense to Washington. Take care.  



Todd Rokita