PAPERWORK AND REGULATORY IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF 2004
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 645 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 2432.
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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank our chairman for his work on H.R. 2432, the Paperwork and Regulatory Improvements Act, and I rise today in support of this overdue legislation. I came to Congress to support small businesses, and this is a step in the right direction.
We have all heard the saying-the road to ruin is paved with good intentions. This is an appropriate statement to consider as we discuss the purpose of the original Paperwork Reduction Act. In 1980 this legislation was passed to ensure that government didn't place an undue repetitive and duplicative paperwork burden on the Nation's businesses. In 1995, Congress again took up the issue and amended PRA by establishing additional paperwork reduction goals. Unfortunately, the result has not been less paperwork.
Since 1995, the paperwork burden has consistently increased. In a 2002 report to Congress, OMB found that the Department of Labor alone imposed over 181 million hours of paperwork in FY 2001. And OMB estimated that processing the paperwork costs business $30 an hour-the Labor Department's regulations alone, at that rate, are costing American businesses $5.43 billion. And the total per-employee cost of regulation can be as much as 60 percent greater for small businesses.
Mr. Chairman, time and again, at town halls and business roundtables across my district, I'm hearing from business owners, small and large, that they are frustrated and, quite frankly, they are tired of the government costing them time and money for purposeless paperwork.
H.R. 2432 gives Congress the tools needed to effectively study and gauge the value of particular regulations and make informed, cost-benefit judgments on their worth. I urge my colleagues to support this commonsense legislation today.