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GOP Freshmen Hour: The Importance of Small Business in America

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. HERRERA BEUTLER. I thank the gentlelady for allowing me the time to join her here today to talk about what this government can and should be doing to help the private sector grow jobs. That's what we're about. We want to help small businesses grow jobs.

This is a statistic most of us are familiar with. Close to two-thirds of all new jobs come from small businesses. They are truly the backbone of our economy. So what if this government started by saying, What can we do to help you, not hurt you or impede your success?

And that's what this Congress is going to be doing this week as we consider the Regulatory Flexibility Act, H.R. 527. It's a bill that strengthens existing law. It simply says a Federal rule is killing jobs if a Federal agency is then required to find a rule that's less burdensome. It's pretty cut and dried. It's something we should be doing already, but we actually have to pass a bill to require it.

When the Federal agencies here in Washington, DC, issue one rule after another, small businesses pay the price and our economy loses jobs.

For instance, take Somarakis Vacuum Pumps in my neck of the woods in southwest Washington, a business manufacturer. When I visit this business, I see a thriving facility with people at work. They're assembling products that help our economy grow. But Somarakis Vacuum Pumps doesn't have a huge team of lawyers and business accountants to handle the regulatory details. They actually need regulatory specialists to navigate the maze of Federal rules. They don't have the money; but, you know, they just might need it.

I actually brought the reason why I think they might need that. Mr. Speaker, this is pretty heavy. This is actually the list of Federal rules and regulations just for half of November. This doesn't even represent the entire month. These books I have right here represent about 2 weeks' worth of Federal regulations and rules that Somarakis Vacuum Pumps has to navigate.

Let me show you, if I may, just the rules from the last 3 days--Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday--right here.

You know, part of the reason we're here today is to illustrate the need to make it simpler and easier for small businesses to navigate this Federal maze. I mean, this is ridiculous. This is Monday, this is Tuesday, and this is Wednesday. Three days' worth of rules that Somarakis Vacuum Pumps in southwest Washington is going to need help navigating.

It shouldn't be this way, Mr. Speaker, which is why this week we're working very hard, and we're going to pass a bill that says if these rules and burdens--it puts the proof and the burden back on the government. If these rules are too burdensome, the Federal Government needs to find a better way to put forward its regulations.

Another rule that's really important is working its way through the Environmental Protection Agency and the courts. It's called the Forest Roads Rule. It's also very impactful to southwest Washington. It's crippling in that it overturns 35 years of environmental policy and would require a Federal permit on every single forest road. In essence, you have to get the same Federal permit for a road through your privately owned forestland that you would have to get for factories and industrial sites. That's not necessary.

Let's consider the impacts on public land. According to the U.S. Forest Service, it would require that agency alone 10 years to obtain the 400,000 permits necessary for the roads on public lands. What would that do to Rick Dunning, who owns a small tree farm in Clark County, Washington? He's not the U.S. Forest Service. He doesn't have unlimited lawyers and resources. He has to do this on his own.

That's what we're here tonight to do is to make it easier on these small business owners to operate in our regions and grow our economy.

With that, I thank the gentlelady for the time to talk about my support for the Regulatory Flexibility Act and for what we're doing to help grow jobs in small businesses.


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