An amendment proposed by Congressman Spencer Bachus to increase regulatory accountability at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been added the to the farm bill being considered by the House.
The House late last night approved a Bachus amendment that would require USDA to more carefully weigh the impact that its proposed regulations could have on small businesses.
"All federal agencies should take special account of the effect that their regulations could have on small businesses. My amendment is intended to establish a better process for small business input at the Department of Agriculture. This is important because regulatory costs place a disproportionately high burden on small businesses, which are less able to absorb additional paperwork and compliance costs," said Congressman Bachus, who is the chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.
Under the amendment, USDA would be required to set up small business advisory committees to help it understand the impact that a proposed rule might have on small business. The panels exist at several other federal agencies and have "enhanced" the regulatory process, according to the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy.
The amendment had the support of the National Federation of Independent Business.