Last year’s Federal Register was the heftiest it has ever been, and more than 500 of those pages directly affected small businesses.
Pres. Barack Obama bid farewell to 2015 with a major blow to small businesses. Setting an all-time record, his administration packed the Federal Register with 82,036 pages of rules and regulations by the year’s end, according to a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).
That’s the sixth such record-breaker for a president The Wall Street Journal is calling “the most prolific American regulator of all time.”
FIND OUT HOW OBAMA’S “UNDERGROUND REGULATIONS” CAN HURT YOUR SMALL BUSINESS: NFIB’s white paper goes in-depth on the growing issue.
More than 500 pages of the final regulations—545 pages to be exact—affect small businesses, including stifling components like the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, according to the CEI. Final rules make up 3,378 pages of this year’s Federal Register, and another 2,334 regulations are still under consideration.
The scariest part? Many of Obama’s rules sidestep the public review process. Even though procedures are in place to ensure government accountability, Obama’s administration is “in a class by itself,” The WSJ writes, in issuing “underground regulations”—quietly released recommendations that can hold small businesses liable for certain actions. NFIB released a report on the issue in September.
“This is an especially serious concern for America’s small business community because business owners must navigate the perpetually changing regulatory seas—usually without the benefit of in-house compliance officers,” said Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center.
This year’s regulatory climate doesn’t look bright, either. Obama’s streak will likely continue with nearly 4,000 new proposed regulations on “everything from furnaces to gun sales to Guantanamo,” according to Politico—many of which could have a price tag of more than $100 million.
photo credit: Wofratz