thom tillis 1104
Washington CNN  — 

The invisible hand might control the free market – but it also might not be washed.

During a question-and-answer session at the Bipartisan Policy Center on Monday – posted online by C-SPAN – the freshman North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis was riffing about the United States being “one of the most regulated nations in the history of the planet.”

He told the story of a conversation he had at a Starbucks in his old state legislative district, where he said businesses should be able to “opt out” of some requirements.

His conversation partner said some regulations – like public health requirements, such as requiring restaurant workers to wash their hands – are necessary.

But Tillis disagreed, saying it’s an example he could use to “illustrate the point.”

“I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy, as long as they post a sign that says, ‘We don’t require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restroom,’” Tillis said.

“The market will take care of that,” he said, drawing laughs Monday.

“It’s one example – but then let them decide,” Tillis said. “Now that’s probably one where every business that did that would go out of business, but I think it’s good to illustrate the point that that’s the sort of mentality that we have to have to reduce the regulatory burden on this country.”

His comments came amid a round of public health-related controversies other members of his party had triggered.

Two potential Republican 2016 presidential candidates, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, commenting Monday that parents should have choices in whether and when their children receive vaccinations.