Graves Hails Judiciary Committee Passage of Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act

Legislation Would Reduce Regulatory Burden for Small Businesses

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Washington, Aug 1, 2013 | comments
Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) applauded the Judiciary Committee for favorably reporting the bipartisan Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2013 (HR 2542). The legislation was introduced June 28th by Graves and Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL).

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) of 1980 requires federal agencies to assess the economic impact of their regulations on small businesses, and if the impact is significant, consider alternatives that are less burdensome before the rule is finalized. The Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2013 would ensure careful consideration of consequences of rulemaking through the removal of loopholes that agencies have used to avoid compliance with the RFA. The bill has strong support from small business industry groups, including 123 associations and other entities that represent small firms who signed a July 30, 2013 letter endorsing H.R. 2542.

“The burden of federal regulations is one the biggest concerns facing small businesses today,” said Chairman Graves. “Congress passed the Regulatory Flexibility Act to help protect small businesses from unnecessarily burdensome requirements; now we must ensure federal agencies are held accountable and follow the law. The Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act would require more meaningful analysis of regulations and their impact on small firms so that commonsense alternatives can be designed and considered. Not all regulations are bad, but complying with the regulatory burden can be costly and time-consuming for small firms, which bear a higher regulatory compliance cost than large companies. Agencies need to appreciate this fact and do the work to make their regulations workable.”

Last Congress, Chairman Graves joined then-House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) to introduce the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011 (HR 527). The Small Business Committee held hearings on the bill on March 30, 2011 and June 15, 2011 and marked up the bill on July 13, 2011. On December 1, 2011, the bill passed the House by a vote of 263-159; however, the Senate never took it up.

Earlier this year, Graves launched a new Committee initiative, called “Small Biz Reg Watch,” to help small businesses participate in the development of federal regulations. This online resource on the Committee’s website regularly highlights proposed regulations that could impact small companies and instruct business owners on how they can make comments to the federal agency developing the proposed regulation.

The other original cosponsors of the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2013 are Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), former House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN).

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