Smucker enjoying new job in D.C.

January 13, 2017
In The News

A week and a half into his first term, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker is feeling pretty good about the energy he's seeing around Washington.

The Lancaster County Republican, who represents Reading and part of Berks County, said he imagines the flurry of activity since he was sworn in Jan. 3 is just a start.

He landed a spot on the influential House Budget Committee, which will put him in a position to tackle issues such as federal spending and health care. And he received his other committee assignments: Education and Workforce - a similar panel to the one he chaired as a state senator - and Transportation and Infrastructure.

And Smucker said he was excited to, in his first few days on the job, vote on a topic that was a central theme of his campaign: curbing federal regulation.

He was among the supporters of the so-called REINS (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) Act, which cleared the House last week. The bill would require congressional approval of federal regulations with the potential to have a major economic effect.

"We've just seen an incredibly growth in federal regulations that I think are holding people back, holding businesses back," Smucker said.

He said the issue came up regularly during his campaign but is also personal. He started a contracting business from scratch at 17 and grew it. But he said small business owners don't have the same opportunities now.

"It's a lot tougher now to start and grow a small business than it was back then simply because of all the regulatory burden that we put on our businesses," Smucker said.

The 237-187 vote fell largely along party lines.

Republicans say the measure is needed to end out-of-control rule-making by federal agencies. Democrats say the bill is meant to stall the regulatory process making it harder for agencies to issue important rules related to consumer protection, the environment and other areas.

Smucker said lawmakers should have oversight over new rules since they see firsthand how they affect people on the ground level in their districts.