CEI Report Urges Congress to De-Fund Harmful Labor Regulations


A new Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) report urges Congress to use its power of the purse to stop a spate of new rules imposed by federal labor regulators that threaten job opportunity, business success, worker privacy, and, for middle class investors, access to financial advice.

“Congress has a chance to de-fang labor regulations that threaten people’s jobs, privacy, and economic opportunity,” said report co-author Trey Kovacs, a CEI labor policy expert. “Congress should stop tax dollars from being spent on implementing labor regulations that do more harm than good.”

“The Labor Department wants to muzzle financial advice and limit investment choices with its so-called fiduciary rule, using powers never granted by Congress,” said report co-author John Berlau, a CEI financial policy expert. “The fiduciary rule will harm middle class savers, curtailing their access to affordable financial advice and costing them $80 billion in lost savings over ten years.”

The report focuses on four regulations put forward by the Department of Labor (DOL) and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), respectively:

  1. The DOL fiduciary rule exposing financial professionals such as brokers and insurance agents to new liabilities;
  2. The DOL overtime rule vastly expanding overtime pay costs for American businesses;
  3. The NLRB joint employer ruling exposing companies, contractors, and franchisers to greater employment liabilities;
  4. The NLRB ambush election rule forcing employers to give workers’ private information to labor union officials and sharply curtailing the timeframe workers have to consider union representation.

The report urges Congress to de-fund those regulations through the annual appropriations process, since Congress has been unable to pass legislation either to stop agency overreach or reverse onerous regulation. Specifically, lawmakers can attach policy riders to government funding bills that stop implementation or enforcement of burdensome regulations. Because funding bills are considered must-pass legislation, policy riders give Congress a powerful tool to stop bad executive branch regulations.