ITASCA, Ill. (CBS) — U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) said Tuesday that proposed Obama administration rules are stifling the economic recovery. And he wants Congress to have a much bigger say in future rulemaking.
“Buy Sara Lee,” Roskam said as he stood alongside Sara Lee’s chief executive officer of North American operations, C.J. Fraleigh.
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Two signs flanked the podium — a giant Sara Lee logo to one side and a photo of a turkey sandwich with a bite out of it on the other.
The turkey sandwich represents all that Roskam believes is wrong with Obama administration rulemaking. He said that because of its sodium content, it cannot be advertised on the Super Bowl, because it qualifies as a television show that targets children under federal rules proposed April 28.
In addition, Fraleigh said, “we will no longer be able to advertise Ball Park Franks in stadiums, because too many children go to stadiums.”
Both Fraleigh and Roskam said they were particularly upset over the turkey sandwich. Fraleigh said he “proudly” serves the reduced-sodium turkey to his children.
For the record, Sara Lee’s premium turkey breast has a sodium content of 760 milligrams per 3 oz. serving, according to its Web site. An equivalent serving of reduced-sodium turkey breast has 570 milligrams. The proposed interim federal recommendation for children would be 210 milligrams per serving, with an eventual goal of 140 milligrams.
Fraleigh conceded that Americans as a group consume too much salt, but insisted the food industry is taking the lead in resolving the problem.
The turkey sandwich was only one of Roskam’s targets. He also railed against federal rules governing union shops and proposed federal air quality standards, saying that they are a waste of time and money for American business.
Roskam is proposing that Congress be required to approve any change in rules that would impact the nation’s economy by more than $100 million.
He said he is aware that it would mean rulemaking gridlock.
“It would have a restraining influence at the agency level, where federal executive branch officials are going to say, ‘Look, this has to pass the House and the Senate.’ Internally, it will have a restraining influence,” Roskam said.
In addition to speaking with Fraleigh and top Sara Lee officials, Roskam toured a Federal Signal Corp. plant in Oak Brook. He met with company officials who said federal diesel emissions standards may force them to shut down production of diesel-powered sweepers. He also visited White Casting Metal Corp., in Bensenville, to discuss proposed rules concerning aluminum and magnesium particulates in the factory.