Snakes are the key to saving the economy, according to some House Republicans. Yesterday, GOP members of The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee addressed a proposal to restrict transportation and importation of snakes. In the new report, "Broken Government: How the Administrative State has Broken President Obama's Promise of Regulatory Reform," Republicans claim these regulations on reptiles ultimately kill thousands of jobs.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson has been pushing for the rules as a way to protect the native species in the Everglades. The area has become over-run with more than 100,000 gigantic Burmese pythons, let loose into the wild by negligent pet owners (*shudder*). They've been staking claim to gators' territory, and as photographic evidence shows, it hasn't always ended well for either party. (See pic of exploding python).
Snake breeder David Barke told lawmakers that the proposed ban "threatens as many as a million law-abiding American citizens and their families with the penalty of a felony conviction for pursuing their livelihoods, for pursuing their hobby, or for simply moving with their pet to new state."
House Democrats aren't buying into this as a block to job growth. According to Politico, Rep. Elijah Cummings, a ranking member of the oversight panel, said "With all due respect to our witnesses from the Association of Reptile Keepers, repealing a so-called job-killing regulation to allow more pythons, boa constrictors and anacondas into the United States is not the kind of bold, bipartisan solution Americans are looking for to help the economy."
Check out video of the hearing below.