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Jeb Bush declares war on federal regulations

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush says it’s high time America “did a better job regulating the regulators,” calling for a retrenchment of federal regulations in just about every area, including the financial sector, health care and the environment.

Bush, the former Florida governor, outlined his plan in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published online Tuesday.

“My goal as president would be to find and retire the rules that are posing a major obstacle to people who want to get a job, start a business, move up the income ladder or do anything else that contributes to the prosperity of this nation,” he said in the op-ed.

“If elected, I will use my executive authority to direct agencies to create one dollar of regulatory savings for each new dollar of regulatory cost they propose,” Bush said. “We will eliminate and reform outdated and burdensome rules and, when necessary, work with Congress and the courts to overcome legal obstacles that stand in the way of sensible savings.”

The proposal is a slam against the President Barack Obama, who Bush says has sapped the strength of American entrepreneurial vitality.

Obama’s administration “has issued rules targeting banks, farms, medical offices, hospitals, credit unions, insurers, tanning and nail salons, power plants, factories, federal contractors, cars, trucks and appliances,” Bush said.

Bush would rein in Clean Water Act enforcement, air pollution regulations and standards governing coal ash, the toxic waste product of coal-burning power plants.

“I will also work to repeal the so-called net-neutrality rule forced on the Federal Communications Commission by the White House,” he said.

At its simplest, net neutrality regulations keep the Internet equal for everyone, though providers like Comcast and Verizon complain they drive up costs.

“My administration will create a commission charged with reviewing regulations from the perspective of the regulated and shifting more power … back to states,” Bush said. “I will also work with Congress to repeal significant portions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law,” enacted to prevent the conditions that led to the Great Recession.

Later this year, he said he will announce “a detailed agenda to repeal and replace Obamacare,” also known as the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats took Bush to task immediately, calling his proposals “dangerous.”

Bush “hopes to dismantle protections that keep consumers protected, our air clean, our water safe and our children happy and healthy,” said Christina Freundlich, a Democratic National Committee spokeswoman.

Written By

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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