April 28, 2023

Senator Ricketts’ Weekly Column: Relief, Not Regulation

April 28, 2023

Joe Biden has continued to abuse his executive authority to show Nebraskans – and all Americans – his misplaced priorities. The examples are almost too numerous to count. In this time of high inflation, Americans deserve relief, not regulation. Fighting Biden’s overreach and attacks on who we are can be daunting, but having done so successfully when I was governor, it’s one of the reasons I want to serve in the United States Senate.

The most recent example is a new rule going into effect on May 1. Homebuyers with credit scores above 680 will find the cost of a new mortgage could increase, according to one economic analysis, by an estimated $14,000 over the lifetime of the mortgage. This is because President Biden has decided to socialize mortgage lending.

If allowed to take effect, this Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) rule will force Nebraskans with good credit to subsidize – through higher mortgage rates and fees – the mortgages of those with risky credit. The average credit score in America is around 710, and the cutoff for this new rule is 680. That means this rule will impact a lot of American families. Experts suggest affected Nebraskans will pay about $40 per month more on a home loan of $400,000. And guess what? If you saved money for a down payment and you’re prepared to put 20% down, Joe Biden wants to punish you a second time with the highest fee increases.

This rule will essentially tax the American Dream. People who paid their bills and lived within their means in order to develop good credit and save for a new home will be required to pay higher rates than those who did not. It punishes fiscal responsibility and rewards irresponsibility. It is yet another example of how Biden and his bureaucrats have consistently colored outside the lines to expand federal authority and redistribute wealth to politically favored groups.

If the Biden administration won’t reverse the rule, Congress must fight to do it for them.

While legislation is one way to push back on onerous regulations, another way to do that is to block radical nominees from leading the agencies that issue those rules. This week, the Committee on Environment and Public Works considered the nomination of Joseph Goffman, who Biden nominated to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Air and Radiation.

These posts don’t get much media attention, but it’s bureaucrats like Goffman who are responsible for much of the government overreach we see today. Goffman has consistently created or supported detached-from-reality mandates that illegally go beyond what Congress intended, destroy jobs, and restrict freedom. He authored former President Obama’s illegal Clean Power Plan, which was struck down by the Supreme Court for being too expansive. He supported the “Waters of the U.S.” rule, which seeks to expand federal government power into regulating roadside ditches and farm ponds. He supports new emissions requirements on American-made vehicles, that would require up to two-thirds of cars and trucks in the U.S. to be electric in just eight years.

Bureaucrats who break the law to push a radical agenda should be fired, not promoted. I voted against Mr. Goffman’s nomination and will continue to oppose nominees like him who try and subvert our laws.

Nebraskans deserve better than all of this.

We should value hard work and reward success, instead of penalizing both. I will continue to fight against the burdensome mandates being pushed by Biden and his bureaucrats. I will continue to advocate for common-sense legislative solutions to repeal or block their reach into our lives.

Along with Senator Deb Fischer and the rest of my colleagues in the Nebraska delegation, my team and I are here to serve you. Contact my team and I anytime by phone at 202-224-4224, on my website www.ricketts.senate.gov, or via email contactricke@ricketts.senate.gov. I am honored to serve our great state and will continue to work to protect the Good Life from Washington overreach.


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