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Child's Play: To Regulate or Not to Regulate? Child's Play: To Regulate or Not to Regulate?

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Child's Play: To Regulate or Not to Regulate?

Baby formula and children's toys became the momentary focus of Monday's House Rules Committee hearing on a bill intended to slash "significant" regulations and red tape on businesses.

Republicans cast the bill, which House Speaker John Boehner today said would include seven measures in total, a jobs-saving act. The bill defines "significant" regulation as any that would cost the economy $100 million or more, and it would slash regulations until the national unemployment rate reaches 6 percent.

Democrats warned that the measure would have the opposite economic effect and possibly imperil citizens.

In a sign of the stiff political disagreement surrounding the bill, even a lighthearted moment passed quickly, with members returning to their partisan fencing match. First, Arkansas Republican Rep. Tim Griffin, the bill's sponsor, tried to allay Democratic fears by invoking his toddler.

"I don't know anyone who's against some regulations. I have a 2-year-old, baby John, and he takes a bottle at night ... and I want his formula to be safe," Griffin said.

But moments later, Georgia Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson suggested that the bill would do nothing to ensure the "water we drink, the food we eat ... or even the toy's" baby John plays with are safe.

The committee voted 6-3 along party lines to report a structured rule on the regulations measure as well as on a bill that would replace President Barack Obama's oil and gas leasing program with a plan devised by Congress.

This post has been updated. It was first published at 6:52 p.m.

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