Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after the House, in a bipartisan vote, passed the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act (H.R. 4078), of which he is the lead sponsor:
"Hardworking Americans deserve a regulatory system that doesn't hamstring their ability to invest, hire and grow. Yet Arkansas job creators have repeatedly told me how excessive and overly burdensome regulations have prevented them from hiring more employees and growing the economy. With America's unemployment rate above 8 percent for 41 straight months and counting, even President Obama has admitted that "unnecessary or too costly' regulations are "placing unreasonable burdens on business [and having] a chilling effect on growth and jobs.' He's identified the problem, and by passing the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act, the House has provided the solution."
More than 140 state and national organizations support H.R. 4078, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, as well as the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. A full list of supporting organizations is below.
H.R. 4078 would put a moratorium on new regulations that would cost the economy $100 million or more until the unemployment rate falls to six percent or below, but makes exceptions for federal rules necessary for national security, trade agreements, enforcement of criminal and civil rights laws, and imminent threats to health or safety. It also allows the President to seek congressional approval for other regulations he believes are absolutely critical.
In its first three years, the Obama Administration created 120 new major regulations that cost Americans more than $46 billion every year. That's more than four times the number and five times the cost of major regulations created by the Bush Administration in its first three years. In a cover story entitled "Over-regulated America," The Economist magazine noted that, given the increase in regulations, "It's a wonder the jobless rate isn't even higher than it is."
The federal government's Small Business Administration estimates that current regulations already cost $1.75 trillion every year and add $10,585 in overhead per employee. In the February 2012 Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, nearly half of small business owners who are not hiring cited government regulations as the reason. Another poll found that 74 percent of registered voters think there are too many pending regulations, and 63 percent think federal regulations are hurting, not helping, small businesses. In a recent National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) survey, small business owners named "taxes" and "government regulation and red tape" among the most serious problems they face.
An analysis by the American Action Forum found H.R. 4078 could save at least 2,700 jobs, 2.6 million paperwork hours and $22.1 billion in compliance costs.
H.R. 4078 includes several additional pro-jobs, anti-red tape provisions which:
Prevent outgoing presidents from issuing economically significant regulations at the last minute (H.R. 4607)
Increase transparency and judicial scrutiny of sue-and-settle litigation (H.R. 3862)
Require the Federal Communications Commission and the National Labor Relations Board to comply with the same regulatory review requirements as other agencies (H.R. 373)
Streamline the federal permitting process for major infrastructure projects (H.R. 4377)
Require both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to conduct more thorough cost-benefit analyses of proposed regulations (H.R. 2308 and H.R. 1840)