House Minority Leader John Boehner today called a moratorium on new federal regulations, a day after the Senate passed sweeping reforms to regulate the financial industry after the nation's 2008 financial collapse.
"I think having a moratorium on new Federal regulations is a great idea," Boehner said. "[It] sends a wonderful signal to the private sector that they are going to have some breathing room. I think there is a way to do this with an exemption for those emergency regulations that may be needed or some particular agency or another. If the American people knew that there was going to be a moratorium for a year, that the federal government wasn't going to issue thousands of more regulations, it would give them some breathing room."
But a caution to Boehner and Republicans who agree with him: The public wants more regulation, not less.
According to last month's NBC/WSJ poll, 65% said they wanted more regulation for the oil industry (versus 16% who want less); 57% want more regulation for Wall Street firms (compared with 15% who want less); 53% want more regulation for big corporations (versus 21% who want less); and 52% want more regulation for the health-care industry (compared with 27% who want less).
Only regarding small business was the public divided on having more regulation versus less.
*** UPDATE *** Boehner spokesman Michael Steele emails this response to First Read: "I think the context that he made it clear that such a moratorium would not impact new regulations that are an appropriate response to the tragedy in the Gulf is fair, and important."