House Financial Services Subcommittee Ranking Member Judy Biggert (R-IL), House Small Business Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO), and House Small Business Subcommittee Chairman Heath Shuler (D-NC) today offered an amendment to the financial regulatory reform bill (H.R. 4173) that would protect small businesses from unnecessary overregulation. Ranking Member Graves, Representative Biggert and Representative Shuler serve as conferees in the Conference Committee that is currently negotiating to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of financial regulatory reform legislation.
The amendment would have required the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to analyze the impact of proposed and final rules on small businesses including the availability of credit before they are implemented. The amendment also would have ensured that the new Bureau is sensitive to small businesses and provides information about the effects of the proposed rules to the public. Unfortunately, the amendment failed by a vote of 10 to 12. To read more about the amendment, click here.
Representative Biggert stated, "Small businesses drive this economy and create the vast majority of new American jobs -- they shouldn't become collateral damage of sweeping new regulations aimed at Wall Street's excesses. This amendment would simply ensure that the powerful and untested new regulator created by this bill would, at minimum, consider how its actions would impact small businesses and examine alternatives to minimize needless costs and burdens. So far, the federal response to the financial crisis has focused on the needs of big banks, while ignoring America's most important job creators. This amendment was an opportunity to begin turning that around, protect small businesses, and preserve their access to credit. It's extremely disappointing that those on the other side would oppose such a simple, fair, and clearly needed amendment."
Ranking Member Graves stated, "The scope and size of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau indicates that its regulatory reach could have a much wider impact than we realize. These consequences -- both intended and unintended -- will have significant potential to limit the availability of credit to small businesses.
"Our amendment would have ensured that these obvious and significant indirect effects are thoroughly examined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before the agency issues regulations, thereby forcing the Bureau to regulate in a more rational manner. Not only would this amendment lead to better rules, but it would also help foster a more vibrant economy that allows small businesses to grow, create jobs, and put America back on the road to economic recovery. I am disappointed that my colleagues chose to reject this critical amendment."
Representative Shuler stated, "Small businesses drive job growth, and regulations that would cause little to no effect on a large company could cripple a small one. It is pivotal that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau consider potential effects on small businesses as they propose and enact regulations. I will continue to fight to ensure that our government regulations protect consumers while giving our small businesses the tools they need to be effective drivers of a strong economy."