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Freshmen Hour: The Importance of Small Business of America

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DENHAM. Thank you for your leadership on this area.

I rise in support of H.R. 527. We can't afford any more of the overregulation. Regulatory burdens from new rules just this year alone have cost American taxpayers $93.2 billion. One study found that each $1 million increase in the Federal regulatory budget costs 420 jobs. Overregulation costs us jobs around the Nation.

Let me just speak from my own perspective.

Twelve years ago, I started Denham Plastics, something that my wife and I borrowed an incredible amount of money to start a vision that we had supporting the agriculture industry with a plastics company. It has been a tough road to hoe as a small business owner. It certainly comes at great risk to our family, but it was a vision that we had, that we believed, that without any government intervention we can succeed in not only creating new customers but new jobs.

But one regulation would have put us out of business--the government-run health care. Just the 1099 provision alone, by having to report all of our customers, by having to report all of our suppliers, would have put our small business under.

From an agriculture perspective--I'm a farmer in the central valley. The EPA came down with new dust control regulations.

Now, we farm. We drive tractors. We till our land, and we're going to have dust. I mean, just by the sheer motion of a tractor driving through a field or plowing through the dirt--it's something that we've done through the history of our Nation--creates dust. But are you going to put us out of business because of it?

We grow almonds. You can't spray the trees full of water before you shake the trees and harvest the almonds. You're going to have dust.

So I've been a coauthor of a bill that gets rid of this burdensome regulation, something that would shut down our agriculture industry, not only in the central valley of California but across the Nation. We're farmers. We are going to have dust.

Some of my fellow farmers and ranchers are also aware that EPA also wanted to expand its regulation of manure as a threat of greenhouse gas. I mean, some of these things are so ludicrous that they just cost us millions of jobs, and the threat alone causes farmers to say, Do we really want to be in this business? Do our kids really want to take over the family farm?

We've got to stop this overregulation because it does cost us jobs. We've got to stop eliminating jobs before we can actually go out and create more jobs. We have to have certainty in the marketplace. And whether you're a farmer or a small business owner, the regulations affect us in such a way that, as a small business owner, I couldn't go out there and hire a lobbyist to go through the 90,000 pages of new regulations this year alone.

We have to stop the regulations that are killing businesses throughout the Nation. H.R. 527 is one way to do that. We need flexibility. Most of all, we need certainty. We've got to be able to plan our businesses, not for a month, not for 2 months, not for 1 year. When you're in business, when you're out there borrowing capital, when you're putting your home into a second mortgage because you want to have the American Dream and create a business and want to go out and hire new people, you have to have some certainty. I can't go to my wife and say, Let's take a second out on our home, and maybe we might make it next year.

With regulations, we don't know what's going to happen. We need to be able to plan for 5 years, 10 years. We need to be able to plan on putting our kids through college. Before I go out and hire a new employee, I need to make a commitment to that employee that we're going to have ongoing employment, and I need to make a commitment to that employee's entire family, who depends on us for that new job.

So the regulations that are killing our businesses across the Nation have to end. We need flexibility. We need certainty as a business. We need it in order to create jobs in this great Nation.


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