In the news

The Concord Monitor
Karen Langly and Matthew Spolar

First District Congressman Frank Guinta is facing some local push-back over a bill aimed at stripping away federal regulations.

Guinta is a co-sponsor of the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which he said earlier this month would "slam the brakes on federal regulators and return them to their proper boundaries."

"Clearly, people are hurting because of the wave of red tape that keeps flowing out of Washington. I'm working to end this wave of red tape run wild," he wrote in his bi-weekly "Frankly Speaking" column. Companies spend 118.8 million work hours a year filling out paperwork required by regulations in the Federal Register, he said.

But Addie Shankle at the New Hampshire Public Interest Research Group says New Hampshire restaurants, which rely on federal inspections to ensure their food is safe, could take a hit from Guinta's bill, which 2nd District Rep. Charlie Bass of Peterborough also supports. The bill would divert all new rules proposed by federal agencies, such as the Center for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration, to go through Congress, Shankle said.

Given the gridlock there, the bill "would effectively end the agencies' ability to respond to public health threats," she said, which could lead to "tremendous uncertainly in the local food industry."

A release from Shankle's group quoted restaurant owners in Nashua and Dover concerned about the bill.

"I'm gravely concerned about the impact passage that the REINS legislation could have on small, locally owned restaurants, farmers markets, and grocers, in particular," Shankle said in a statement. "Restaurant and shop owners need to know the food they put in front of their customers is safe."

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