A recent study reported in Investor's Business Daily revealed startling news. After measuring countries by the number of regulations they have, "it is now easier to start a business in Slovenia, Estonia and Hungary than in America." This affects our ability to encourage investment and job creation in our country.
Unfortunately, this disturbing ranking is something our small business owners know all too well. They are suffocating under excessive bureaucratic red tape. In fact, the number of economically significant government regulations -- those costing more than $100 million a year -- has soared in recent years. So far in 2012, nearly 42,000 pages of regulations have been published in the Federal Register. This mountain of regulations includes intrusions from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and will cost over $56 billion in compliance costs and more than 114 million additional hours will have to be devoted to burdensome paperwork because of these new regulations.
While some regulations are needed, most are just a major drag on our economy. When small business owners and entrepreneurs have to divert precious resources to manage costly new mandates that are coming down from Washington, they have fewer resources available to grow their business or create jobs. That is why, in the coming days, the House of Representatives will consider the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act. This comprehensive legislation, which I strongly support, will help to reduce the economic burdens that our nation's small businesses are facing as a result of the numerous government regulations being forced on them by the Obama Administration.
Specifically, the legislation makes important reforms to the regulatory process in a number of ways, including (1) preventing any federal agency from taking a "significant regulatory action" until the unemployment rate is at six percent or less, (2) permanently preventing "lame duck" administrations from issuing economically significant regulations, (3) requiring independent federal agencies like the FCC or NLRB to comply with the same regulatory review requirements as other agencies, (4) requiring increased transparency with respect to unfunded mandates that are imposed on state and local governments, and (5) streamlining permitting for environmental projects.
One of my top priorities since arriving in Congress has been to fight against costly government regulations. I understand that complying with government regulations can force up the price of goods or services so that consumers are not able to afford them and employers are unable to grow their businesses. This is a major contributing factor to our weak economy. As your Congressman, I will continue to fight against all unnecessary regulations. If we are to grow our economy and get more Americans back to work, Washington must get out of the way.