Congressman Spencer Bachus (AL-6) today said the federal government needs to more carefully assess the impact that regulations can have on small businesses.
With bipartisan support, Bachus has introduced legislation (The Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2013) that would require federal agencies to better account for the wide effects of proposed regulations on small businesses and tailor final rules to minimize their impact.
The bill would update and more fully implement small business regulatory relief which Republicans and Democrats in Congress and President Clinton agreed to on a bipartisan basis in 1996. The legislation has been referred to the Judiciary Committee and the Small Business Committee for consideration.
Congressman Bachus, who is chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, said, "In my view, the health of small businesses is one of the most important issues confronting our country. Small businesses are the source for almost half of our workforce, and while I'm concerned about many economic factors, it's also my view that government regulations have a disproportionate impact on small businesses. While all businesses have to comply with state and local regulations, federal regulations can impose an even greater burden because most small businesses simply do not have the resources or the time to monitor and participate in the federal regulatory process or dispute new rules
Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte said, "America's economy owes much to the ingenuity and hard work of small business owners and their employees. In fact, small businesses create the largest share of new American jobs. However, small businesses currently face historic obstacles, as is reflected by today's historically low levels of small business start-ups. At the top of the list of those obstacles -- as poll after poll demonstrates -- is the level of federal regulation coming from Washington. Congress can and should act to free small businesses of the burdens and waste associated with excessive federal regulations.
Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves said, "Small business owners consistently cite compliance with government regulations as one of their biggest concerns facing them today. Not all regulations are bad, but many can be unnecessarily burdensome. Because small businesses bear a regulatory cost that is much higher than the cost of compliance for large businesses, the government should closely examine the impacts of the regulation before they are finalized. The Regulatory Flexibility Act is good policy to help protect small businesses from overly burdensome regulations, but federal agencies should comply with it and be held accountable for their actions."
At a subcommittee hearing on the legislation held by Congressman Bachus today, the executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center, Karen Harned, spoke favorably of the bill.
"With Main Street still struggling to regain its footing, Congress needs to take steps to address the growing regulatory burden on small businesses. The proposed reforms in the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act are a good first step," Harned said.
The original cosponsors of the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act are Congressman John Barrow (D-GA), Congressman Howard Coble (R-NC), House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (D-MO), Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT), Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN) andformer House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX).