Congress, which this year agreed to abide by the rules it places on everyone else, now is full of people who had to deal with federal regulations every day. Business Week reports that for the first time in decades, people from business, banking, and real estate backgrounds outnumber lawyers in the House of Representatives—191 to 170. Nearly half of the 73 freshman Republicans in the House ran their own businesses. All told, the freshman class of Republicans and Democrats includes 64 businesspeople and 28 lawyers. Over in the slow-paced Senate, lawyers still outnumber businesspeople 54 to 27.
Of course, some lawyers, such as Rep. Chris Cox (R-Calif.), are leaders on deregulation and privatization. And Speaker Newt Gingrich and House Majority Leader Dick Armey are neither businessmen nor lawyers, but former professors. But individuals who have personal experience with federal regulations and taxes are more likely to be skeptical of additional laws than those who made the law their profession.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Back to Business".