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:


General Service Administration

Evaluation of Existing Acquisition Regulations 

The GSA has issued a request for comment on acquisition regulations, policies, standards, and practices issued by GSA across its acquisition and sales programs that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. The agency is particularly interested in comments on areas not addressed recently, such as price adjustments, requirements related to utilities, and construction. This request for comment is in response to Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda." (PUBLISHED 5-30-2017) 

IRFA - No 

COMMENTS DUE 8-14-2017

General Service Administration

Evaluation of Existing Federal Management and Federal Property Management Regulations 

The GSA has issued a request for comment on federal management and federal property management regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. Specifically, the agency is requesting comments on federal management regulations in transportation, telecommunications, administrative programs, and property. This request for comment is in response to Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda." (PUBLISHED 5-30-2017) 

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 8-14-2017

General Service Administration

Evaluation of Existing Leasing Acquisition Regulations

The GSA has issued a request for comment on leasing acquisition regulations, policies, standards, and practices issued by GSA across its leasing acquisition and sales programs that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. The agency is particularly interested in comments on existing lease acquisition regulations issued by GSA. This request for comment is in response to Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda." (PUBLISHED 5-30-2017) 

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 8-14-2017

Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Request for Information Regarding the Fiduciary Rule and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions - Department of Labor (DOL)

The Employee Benefits Security Administration of the DOL has issued a request for information in connection with its examination of the "fiduciary rule." Specifically, this request for information seeks input that could form new exemptions, modifications,  or changes to the rule.  Although the rule went into effect on June 9, 2017, there is a phased implementation period for certain provisions until January 1, 2018. (PUBLISHED 7-6-2017) 

IRFA- No

COMMENTS DUE 8-7-2017

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 

Evaluation of Existing Regulations, Policies, and Information Collections

The FEMA has issued a request for comment to evaluate existing regulations. Specifically, the agency is attempting to identify regulations that eliminate jobs, are outdated, impose costs that exceed 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 Reform Agenda." (PUBLISHED 6-15-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 8-14-2017


Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Implementation of Executive Order 13789 (Identifying and Reducing Tax Regulatory Burdens) Notice 2017-38

The IRS has issued a request for public comment on whether the eight identified regulations in Notice 2017-38 should be rescinded or modified. The notice proposes the modification or elimination of "valuation discounts," which permits certain discounts to be applied to lower the value of the interest on transferred gifts, estates, or other generation-skipping tax purposes. The elimination of "valuation discounts" would affect the succession planning for a substantial amount of small businesses in a variety of industries. (PUBLISHED 7-7-2017) 

IRFA - No 

COMMENTS DUE 8-7-2017
Please send comments to Comments@irscounsel.treas.gov and include Notice 2017-38 in the subject line.

United States Department of State

Reducing Regulation and Public Burden, and Controlling Cost

The State Department has issued a request for comment on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. Specifically, the agency 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, "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs." (PUBLISHED 7-14-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 8-14-2017

Farm Credit Administration

Statement on Regulatory Burden

The FCA has issued a request for comment to review the agency's regulations. Specifically, the agency requests comments on regulations that are duplicative, ineffective, not based on law, or impose burdens that are greater than the benefits received. This request for comment is in accordance with Executive Orders 13771 and 13777. (PUBLISHED 5-18-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 8-16-2017

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers

Definition of “Waters of the United States” Recodification of Pre-Existing Rules

The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have issued a proposed rule as part of a two-step process that would initiate a review and revision of the definition of "waters of the United States" as defined under the Clean Water Act.  This proposed rule is the first step and would revise the definition of "waters of the United States" back to the definition that existed prior to the Clean Water Rule in 2015.  This rule would affect small businesses in a variety of industries, including farmers, ranchers, homebuilders, and transportation construction companies by decreasing the amount of permits they need for construction activities.  The agencies solicit comments as to whether it is appropriate to re-codify in regulation the status quo as an interim first step pending a substantive rulemaking to reconsider the definition of “waters of the United States." (PUBLISHED 7-27-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 8-28-2017

United States Departmetn 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 9-18-2017

Department of Labor (DOL), Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Request for Information; Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees (Overtime Rule)

The  DOL has issued a request for comment regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime requirements for certain employees. Specifically, the agency is seeking comments whether the 2016 revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act, which increased the threshold for overtime pay protections from $23,660 annually to $45,476 annually, would have an adverse impact low-wage regions and industries. This request for comment is in accordance with Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Agenda." (PUBLISHED 7-26-2017)

IRFA - No 

COMMENTS DUE 9-25-2017

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) 

Project KISS ("Keep It Simple Stupid")

The CFTC has issued a request for comment on how the Commission's existing rules could be applied in a simpler, less burdensome, and less costly manner. Although the CFTC is an independent agency, and is not bound to Executive Order 13777, the CFTC is nevertheless commencing a review of its existing regulations. (PUBLISHED 5-9-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 9-30-2017

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

Request for Information on Potentially Reducing Regulatory Burdens Without Harming Consumers

The CPSC has issued a request for information for ways the Commission could reduce burdens and costs of its existing rules, regulations, or practices without harming consumers. Specifically, the Commission is requesting information and data that would support how modifying existing regulations would reduce costs without harming consumers. (PUBLISHED 6-16-2017)

IRFA - No

COMMENTS DUE 9-30-2017


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