Democrat: Obamacare ‘Wasn’t Fairly Vetted,’ Regulations ‘Way Too Onerous’

March 25, 2013 - 5:06 PM

John Barrows

Rep. John Barrows (D-Ga.) spoke out against 'onerous' regulations in Obamacare at a press conference on March 24, 2013 at the Capitol. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – Rep. John Barrows (D-Ga.) said Friday that legislation was necessary to reign in the regulatory power of the Food and Drug Administration over food served from take-out outlets and convenience stores as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

“That’s why it’s essential that we be able to come together in this manner to provide this kind of relief from legislation that wasn’t fairly vetted enough and regulations that are coming down the pike that are way too onerous,” Barrows said at a press conference in support of the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2013.

The bill would limit FDA’s ability to regulate nutritional information for certain food establishments and would apply to chain restaurants exclusively.

“This bill will provide common sense, reasonable relief to those independent and small grocery chains, for convenience stores – for pizza parlors, pizza stores all over the country,” Barrows said, adding that it should be Congress’ job to make job creation easier not more difficult because of federal regulations.

The bill – sponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), nine other Republicans and four Democrats, including Barrows, focuses on Section 4205 of  Obamacare that is entitled “Nutritional Labeling of Standard Menu Items at Chain Restaurants.” The regulation requires restaurants with more than 20 establishments to provide nutritional information about its offerings.

Another Democrat, Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California said that while some government regulations are needed to protect public safety, they should not be “too much of a burden.”

“In those particular cases, I think it’s important to be in a very bipartisan manner to reach across the aisle to work together to ensure that those types of regulations, those types of statutes, are eliminated,” Sanchez said.

The bill, which was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on March 19, would “amend section 403 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to improve and clarify certain disclosure requirements for restaurants, similar retail food establishments, and vending machines.”