GOP Lawmakers Fight Gov’t Regulations On Small Businesses


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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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GOP lawmakers on the House Small Business Committee pushed to end regulations they feel are hindering small companies from starting and expanding during a hearing held Thursday.

Citing a 2014 study that found businesses with 50 or fewer employees will spend 17 percent more on federal regulations, Chairman Steve Chabot of Ohio said they are taking on a disproportionate about of the burden.

“The regulatory burden falls most heavily on small firms because they have fewer resources and don’t have in-house lawyers and regulatory compliance staff to help them navigate complicated federal rules,” he said in his opening statement. “That’s why it is critical that federal agencies analyze the small business impacts of new regulations and reduce unnecessary and excessive burdens. Agencies have been required to do this for over 35 years but still avoid these requirement.”

The expense of over-regulation is hindering job growth as small businesses provide the highest percentage of jobs in the country, according to Karen Harned, the executive director for the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, who testified before the panel.

“During my fourteen years at NFIB I have heard countless stories from small business owners struggling with a new regulatory requirement,” she said. “To them, the requirement came out of nowhere and they are frustrated that they had ‘no say’ in its development.”

Chabot urged the Senate to take up the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act – designed to force government agencies to weigh the potential outcomes of their regulations – which passed the lower chamber last year.

“The legislative window is closing so I hope the Senate will act quickly to move this important bill,” he said.

Rep. Trent Kelly of Mississippi said he believes while the regulations are aimed at helping businesses, they are doing the opposite.

“It’s frustrating when you have agency after agency after agency that in the name of trying to help people are continuing to hurt not only the small businesses but the end user, customer, the consumer whose prices continue to  go up,” he said. “And whether we re talking about the CFPB, or the EPA or OCEA or NLRB  – they continue to pile on regulations. We’ve got agencies that are out of control.”

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