Regulatory Watch


Background

Government regulations and red tape can be a tremendous barrier to small business growth. Small businesses' regulatory compliance costs are 36 percent higher than large businesses so it is no surprise that regulations consistently rank as a top concern for small business owners. Roughly 3,300 regulations are in the pipeline this year and many of them will affect small businesses. 

Below are regulatory proposals that have been published in the Federal Register and are open for public comment. An agency publishes an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) with a proposed rule if it expects that the rule will have a significant economic impact on substantial number of small businesses. The IRFA provides information about the potential effects of the proposed rule on small businesses.  

Agencies' initial analyses of small business impacts are not always correct or complete, so the Committee on Small Business encourages small businesses to file comments through the government's online portal, Regulations.gov, and tell federal agencies how the regulatory proposal will affect them. If you had trouble with an agency or regulation, please feel free to share your story with the Committee.

Regulations to Watch:

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines

The VA has issued a withdrawal of a proposed rule amending regulations governing the VA's Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Program. This proposed rule has been removed due to concerns from stakeholders that the rule was unnecessarily more rigorous than similar certification programs run by the SBA. The SBA Office of Advocacy was also concerned that the agency did not provide in its regulatory flexibility analysis the number of small businesses that could be affected by the rule. (PUBLISHED 9-1-2017)

IRFA - No 

The proposed rule published on November 6, 2015, 80 FR 68795 is withdrawn as of September 1, 2017.

United States Department of Defense (DoD), United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

United States Army, Corps of Engineers: Subgroup to the DoD Regulatory Reform Task Force, Review of Existing Rules

The USACE has issued a request for public comment to identify existing regulations that can be repealed, replaced, or modified to ease regulatory burdens on the American public. Specifically, the USACE is seeking comment on regulations that eliminate jobs, are outdated, impose costs that are higher than benefits, or interfere with regulatory reform initiatives. This request for comment is in accordance with Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda." (PUBLISHED 7-20-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 10-18-2017

Small Business Administration (SBA) 

Reducing Unecessary Regulatory Burdens 

The SBA issued a request for comment to identify regulations that should be repealed, replaced, or modified because they are obsolete, unnecessary, ineffective, or burdensome. Specifically, the SBA is seeking comment on regulations that have higher costs than benefits, eliminate jobs, are ineffective, or outdated. This request for comment is in accordance with Executive Orders 13771, "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs" and 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Agenda." (PUBLISHED 8-15-2017)

IRFA - No 

COMMENTS DUE 11-15-2017

Department of Transportation (DOT)

Notification of Regulatory Review 

The DOT has issued a request for comment regarding the agency's existing regulations to see if they are crafted effectively or are potentially burdensome. The agency seeks comments on existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced, suspended, or modified to minimize the regulatory burden on the public. This request for comment is in accordance with Executive Orders 13771, "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs," and 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda." (PUBLISHED 10-2-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 11-1-2017

Department of Labor (DOL), Mine Safety and Health Adminstration (MSHA)

Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines

The MSHA has reopened the comment period to solicit comments on limited changes to a final rule that would require an examination of working locations before work begins or as miners begin to work at a new location. The proposed rule aims to provide mine operators additional flexibility in managing their safety and health programs and reduce regulatory burdens without reducing the protections afforded miners. This request for comment is in preparation for four public hearings regarding the proposed rule that will take place in October and November 2017. Roughly 90 percent of all mines in the United States have less than 20 employees. (PUBLISHED 9-12-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 11-13-2017

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Review of Existing General Regulatory and Information Collection Requirements of the Food and Drug Administration

The FDA has issued a request for comment on existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced or modified to reduce burdens on the public while allowing the agency to continue to fulfill its obligations. Specifically, the agency is looking for existing general regulations that eliminate jobs, are outdated, impose costs that are higher than benefits, or interfere with regulatory reform initiatives. This request for comment is in accordance with Executive Orders 13771, "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs" and 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Agenda." (PUBLISHED 9-8-2017)

IRFA- No

COMMENTS DUE 12-7-2017

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Review of Existing Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Regulatory and Information Collection Requirements

The FDA has issued a request for comment on existing regulations from the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition that could be repealed, replaced or modified to reduce burdens on the public while allowing the agency to continue to fulfill its obligations. Specifically, the agency is looking for existing regulations on food or cosmetics that eliminate jobs, are outdated, impose costs that are higher than benefits, or interfere with regulatory reform initiatives. This request for comment is in accordance with Executive Orders 13771, "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs" and 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Agenda." (PUBLISHED 9-8-2017)

IRFA- No 

COMMENTS DUE 12-7-2017

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Review of Existing Center for Tobacco Products Regulatory and Information Collection Requirements


The FDA has issued a request for comment on existing regulations from the Center for Tobacco Products that could be repealed, replaced or modified to reduce burdens on the public while allowing the agency to continue to fulfill its obligations. Specifically, the agency is looking for existing regulations on tobacco products that eliminate jobs, are outdated, impose costs that are higher than benefits, or interfere with regulatory reform initiatives. This request for comment is in accordance with Executive Orders 13771, "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs" and 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Agenda." (PUBLISHED 9-8-2017)

IRFA- No

COMMENTS DUE 12-7-2017




Regulatory Resources:
The Regulatory Flexibility Act
Regulatory Agenda
Tips for Submitting Effective Comments