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Helping the big boys

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While there's much concern about bullying these days, few people other than Sen. Mark Pryor see a need to protect the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Association of Manufacturers from being picked on. In the bullying game, these powerful and acquisitive groups are more perpetrators than victims.

Always seeking an advantage, and generally getting it, the Chamber, the Farm Bureau, the NAM and other special-interest lobbies are strongly supportive of a Pryor bill that would shield them from federal regulators out to preserve American jobs, lives and natural resources. Pryor, a putative Democrat, is joining a handful of senators and representatives, mostly Republicans, in sponsoring the legislation, which essentially would make it harder for regulators to regulate. The bill is opposed by a coalition of labor unions, consumer advocates and environmentalists. The chairman of the group says that Pryor's bill "aims to empower large corporations to sabotage the rules that protect regular Americans. The bill should properly be called 'The Big Business Unaccountability Act.' "

Why do the corporations need this bill? So they can ship more jobs overseas? Slash more benefits for retirees and workers? Push the planet even closer to incineration? They're doing a lot in all these areas already. Congress needn't make it easier for them.

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