WASHINGTON -- The House Republican regulatory reform bill contains an embarrassing typo, mistaking "employment" for "unemployment."
The "Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act" calls for a moratorium on "significant regulatory action" as soon as the legislation is enacted.
The argument by Republicans is that government regulations burden job creation and growth and should therefore be suspended until the economy picks up.
But in a typo, the measure would require that new regulations are suspended until unemployment reaches 94 percent. From Page 3 of the legislation:
Presumably, "employment" is supposed to read "unemployment."
"The Republicans have made a big typo in their latest message bill to nowhere. Looks like they should stop harping about 'red tape' and start looking for the white out," said Drew Hammill, press secretary for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), the original sponsor of the bill, did not return a request for comment.
The legislation is expected to hit the House floor on Wednesday, with votes on Thursday.
When asked for comment, House Rules Committee spokesman Doug Andres confirmed it was a typo and said Republicans hoped Democrats would agree to fix it.
"As introduced and reported in the House, the bill correctly references 'unemployment,' not 'employment' -- all we’ve got is a minor clerical error in the committee print and it is our desire to fix it by unanimous consent. We hope the Democrats will cooperate," said Andres.
Bruce Bartlett, an economist under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, disagrees with the GOP's insistence that blocking regulation would increase job creation.
"It's just nonsense. It's just made up," Barlett said in an interview with the Associated Press, when asked about this assertion.
Former Republican congressman Sherwood Boehlert recently wrote an op-ed in The Hill criticizing the GOP legislation, writing that "it would be difficult to exaggerate the sweep and destructiveness of the House bill."
"What would be so bad about having no new regulations for several years? Well, nothing, if everything else about the world was going to stand still for that period, but that’s not likely to be the case," Boehlert said. "Might we want to try some new ways to stimulate the housing market? No new rules to run a program would be permitted. Might we want to respond to recent revelations about the way banks have misreported and manipulated interest rates? No chance. How about protecting consumers from new attempts by banks to impose exorbitant fees? No dice."
UPDATE: 7/25/12 -- House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters on Wednesday that Democrats will not agree to the unanimous consent required to fix the bill without having to restart the process. Instead, Republicans will, as Roll Call explains, "likely need to take the bill back to the Rules Committee and begin the floor debate anew."
"I know Republicans read the bills," Hoyer said, mocking the GOP's typo. "My, my, my how carefully they read that bill."
Andres, on the Rules Committee, responded, "In their press release, the Democrats acknowledge that this was an error. We acknowledged the error and offered an easy way to fix the issue, but the Democrats don't seem to be interested in actually solving problems. We will act to fix this at the earliest opportunity."
He pointed out that when Democrats had a typo in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, Republicans agreed to the unanimous consent motion needed to change the bill.
Still, in this instance, it seems unlikely Democrats are going to help along a regulatory reform bill that they oppose.
This is a developing story and has been updated.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the author of the op-ed in the Hill. He is former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, not Sherrod.
John Shadegg Wields A Baby
In this past weekend's health care debate, Arizona Republican John Shadegg bravely opened a new frontier by <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/10/jon-stewart-mocks-use-of_n_351911.html">using a live baby as a visual aid</a> to complain about health care reform. The infant, Maddie, was introduced as Shadegg's grand-daughter, which Shadegg quickly corrected, saying, "I wish this <i>was</i> my granddaughter." I wish most Congresspersons demonstrated Maddie's level of cognitive development, but no!
Alan Grayson Warns We Will All Die Slowly
Florida Democrat Alan Grayson made headlines when he took to the well of the House of Representatives<a href="http://airamerica.com/politics/10-27-2009/grayson/"> to warn that the GOP health care plan</a> was for all of the nation's uninsured to DIE QUICKLY! But not so quick that you miss all of the manufactured suspense as Grayson flipped through his poster boards.
Tom Latham Regifts The Chinese
Iowa Republican Tom Latham hates him some cap and trade. So much that he <a href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/politics_nation/2009/06/latham_brings_props_to_house_f.html">decided to box up a hard hat</a> with the words "American Jobs" written on it and send it to China, as a gift. How thoughtful! And all we've gotten in return is a mess of poisonous toys.
Peter Roskam's Into Bondage
Illinois Republican Peter Roskam took a look at the health care bill and saw handcuffs. And "not figurative handcuffs," <a href="http://hotair.com/archives/2009/11/09/video-if-obamacare-is-so-good/">Roskam said</a>, "actual criminal penalties." So, you <i>do</i> mean figurative handcuffs? Anyway, it's a good thing David Vitter sits in the U.S. Senate, because he would have probably been a little inappropriately interested in this presentation.
Michele Bachmann Get's Lei'd
Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann made the acquaintance of some hula dancing Teabaggers from Hawaii, and they brought her a lei, which Bachmann herself could obtain at the airport in Hawaii, were it not for the fact that she believes planes cannot fly over water without the use of witchcraft. Anyway, <a href="http://minnesotaindependent.com/49288/bachmann-lei-health-care-steve-israel-holocaust">she told Congress</a>, "I’m reminded that the one who created this lei also created our freedom. Are we so insensible to the high cost our forebearers paid to purchase our freedom?" So, the Hawaiian Bureau of Tourism created our freedom? I guess this is not supposed to make much sense.
Chuck Grassley, Dragon Slayer
<a href="http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-august-4-2009/chuck-grassley-s-debt-and-deficit-dragon">CLASSIC CHUCK GRASSLEY</a> (R-Iowa) here, as the Iowan mixed all the metaphors he had at his disposal to inveigh against health care reform: Sir Lancelot! Dragons! Painful weapons! Golden egg-laying geese! The whole thing was like having a Pear Of Anguish inserted into your brain. Unless, of course, you were Maddie -- John Shadegg's not-granddaughter -- who probably likes the pretty pictures!
Chuck Grassley Saw A Bill Murray Movie
More from Charles Grassley: "We should not legislate in a hasty manner and place ourselves in an infinite loop," says Grassley, apparently <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/anneschroeder/0608/Chuck_Grassley_is_a_Bill_Murray_fan.html">drawing the wrong lesson from Bill Murray's GROUNDHOG DAY</a>, in which said "infinite loop" allowed Bill Murray's character the chance to experience personal growth, so that he was no longer the sort of preening dick who'd waste the time of serious people with comparisons to movies he saw one night on Comedy Central.
Orrin Hatch Hates Robin Hood
Utah Republican Orrin Hatch LOVES HIM some children's tales, too, it seems. Thankfully, he kept his stories straight, <a href="http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2009/04/orrin-hatch-quotes-from-disneys-robin-hood.html">citing Robin Hood</a> as a way of discussing Obama's infernal plan to redistribute wealth in America. It's not clear that Hatch quite understands who would be the Sheriff of Nottingham in this metaphor. But look, just be thankful Hatch didn't burst into an impromptu performance of Bryan Adams's "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You." Hatch, we remind you, fancies himself to be quite the singer.
Frank Lautenberg Is Sick Of These Star Wars
New Jersey Democrat Frank Lautenberg <a href="http://rawstory.com/exclusives/byrne/lautenberg_judges_star_wars_519">compared then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's threat</a> to eliminate the Senate filibuster to Star Wars' Emperor Palpatine's efforts to destroy galactic freedom, murder the Jedi and crush "terrorism" with the Death Star. Flash forward to today, and suddenly the elimination of the Senate filibuster doesn't seem like such a bad idea, eh, Senate Democrats?
George Voinovich: Prop Master
When it comes to Congressional visual aids, the master of the form is Ohio Republican George Voinovich, who was the Jean-Michel Basquiat of poster-board-based metaphorical imagery. Check out all that elaborate work! The lovingly rendered "Emperor's New Clothes," the detailed Wheel of Fortune, the G4 Channel courting Pac Man nonsense...<a href="http://www.politico.com/click/stories/0911/charting_the_course.html">we're going to miss the senator when he retires</a>. But you know who won't miss him? The poor interns who had to build this crap.