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Opening Statements

Vice Chairman Luetkemeyer: “Reviewing the SBA’s Office of Advocacy Report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act”

Vice Chairman Luetkemeyer's Opening Statement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Small Business is holding a full committee hearing titled “Reviewing the SBA’s Office of Advocacy Report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act.”

Vice Chairman Luetkemeyer’s opening statement as prepared for delivery:

Good morning and welcome to today’s hearing which will focus on reviewing the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy Report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act. 

First, I want to thank our witness, Mr. Major L. Clark who serves as the Deputy Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the SBA. I hope this is the first of several productive hearings we will have with you this Congress, and I appreciate you speaking with us today.

This hearing could not be coming at a more important time. The Office of Advocacy is intended to be a crucial tool, serving as a watchdog, and advocating for small businesses within the federal rulemaking process.

This Committee has drawn great attention to our concerns with the federal government regarding the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The Biden Administration’s actions with rulemaking have proven the need to strengthen the RFA in order to be an effective check for small businesses. We have seen its insufficiencies through numerous examples of federal agencies failing to consider the impact of their rulemaking on small businesses.

Although the Office of Advocacy is doing more work with the RFA than it has in the last 10 years, excessive regulations are continuing to hurt small businesses. It is clear we must conduct this necessary oversight to ensure the Biden Administration is properly implementing the laws designed to safeguard small businesses in the regulatory process, not create a further burden.

Creating this change starts with the Office of Advocacy. Over the years, your office has faced several challenges in its duty to advocate for small business. While you’re recognized as being independent of the SBA, it is clear there is often an association that makes it difficult for your office to have a final say throughout the regulatory development process.

Another concern previously addressed by this Committee is the office’s Chief Counsel of Advocacy position sitting vacant since 2017. We have sent letters to President Biden calling to fill this position. It is clear to this Committee that President Biden does not see this position as a priority. Perhaps this administration would like to leave this position vacant so they can continue with their reckless rulemaking agenda.

To date, the federal government has done a shameful job of meeting their responsibility to consider the impact that proposed regulations will have on small businesses.

The Democrats’ standard of ramming through crushing regulations, reckless spending, and driving up costs on small businesses must stop. Burdensome regulations and government red-tape create a headache for all Americans, but they’re especially harmful for Main Street.

Today, examining the report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act is an important step to continue exposing the federal government’s failures and abuses to provide protections for Main Street. As a member of the House Committee on Small Business, we will continue to fight for these crucial revisions in the RFA and rulemaking process to support Main Street America when President Biden clearly isn’t.

With that, Mr. Clark, thank you again for joining us today. We look forward to the conversation ahead. I will yield to our distinguished Ranking Member from New York, Ms. Velázquez.