Jeb Bush: ‘I have the energy’ to rein in regulation

Updated 3:08 PM EDT, Tue September 22, 2015

Story highlights

Bush outlined a series of proposals that aim to speed up permit approval and halt what he considers unnecessary rule-making

Bush says he would impose a "regulatory freeze," banning new rules until they are approved by an agency head whom he nominated

(CNN) —  

Calling for a revival of the country’s “animal spirits,” Jeb Bush on Tuesday spelled out his regulatory reform plan and argued that he has the “energy” to break down barriers that have cause Washington to “run amok,” as he put it.

At a diner here, Bush outlined a series of proposals that aim to speed up permit approval and halt what he considers unnecessary rule-making. He also blasted President Barack Obama for allowing what he described as an out-of-control administration gain power by creating more laws than Congress.

“Washington has run amok. This President particularly has put it in hyper, overdrive – the regulatory climate – because he doesn’t want to interact with elected officials. He wants to do things by executive order,” Bush said.

He went on to vow that he “will repeal as many of those rules, stop the ones that are in process, and move back to a balanced approach.”

“I have the energy to tear down those barriers for people that want to be lifted up,” he said, a not-so-subtle rebuttal to rival Donald Trump’s charge that Bush is “low-energy.”

Bush regularly blasts the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform as a “convoluted” mess that hampers community banks, and he’s also a frequent critic of net neutrality rules created under the Obama administration.

If elected president, Bush says he would impose a “regulatory freeze,” banning new rules until they are approved by an agency head whom he nominated, and require that the cost of every new dollar of regulations be offset by savings in cutting other regulations.

He would also appoint a cabinet-level task force to help carry out his proposals and issue an executive order to compel agencies to adhere to his regulatory agenda, according to his campaign. A separate commission would be in charge of “spring cleaning,” and any new regulation would be subject to review every eight years.

Bush would also put limits on environmental litigation, which he considers a tool of delay, to make it so that only parties who stand to suffer injury from the action can sue, not advocacy groups.

“The animal spirits of this country are being stifled by this top-down-driven regulatory system that is choking off the next generation of job creators,” he said Tuesday.

Democrats, however, argued that Bush’s underlying motivation is to protect the wealthy and “repeal rules that keep Wall Street in check.”

“Bush is taking his dangerous agenda a step further today with the hopes to dismantle protections that keep consumers protected, our air clean, our water safe and our children happy and healthy,” Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Christina Freundlich said in a statement.