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House Approves Anti-Regulatory Bills, With Eye On Elections

The House of Representatives has approved several bills that would limit and change the way the federal government regulates businesses. The Republican-backed measures were all passed by largely party-line votes; none are seen as likely to be enacted into law.

The legislation underscores "an increasingly symbolic thrust of legislation as Congress heads toward midterm elections," NPR's David Welna reports for our Newscast unit.

"This is an opportunity for us to show the American people that we are committed to restoring the trust in government," GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor said today.

Here's more from David:

"The series of anti-regulatory bills the House approved is part of what Republican leaders are calling Stop Government Abuse Week.

"Democrats accused Republicans of wasting everyone's time.

" 'I sincerely wish my friends on the other side of the aisle would stop this conservative merry-go-round,' said Alcee Hastings, a congressman from Florida.

"Even some Republicans acknowledged their legislation is unlikely to be considered by the Senate."

Here are two of the bills voted on today:

  • The Achieving Less Excess in Regulation and Requiring Transparency Act, or ALERRT, was sponsored by Rep. George Holding, R-N.C. It was approved by a 236-179 vote, with 10 Democrats joining the Republican side.
  • The Consumer Financial Freedom and Washington Accountability Act was sponsored by Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis. It seeks to replace the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with a five-member commission that would be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The new body would be called the Financial Product Safety Commission. It was approved by a 232-182 vote, with 10 Democrats voting in favor.
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    Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.