NFIB Applauds Senate and House Proposals to Stop the Rush to Create Red Tape
DC (February 25, 2016) – The National
Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is supporting the Midnight Rule
Relief Act, bills in the House and Senate that would limit the ability of
agencies to rush regulations through during the end of a presidential term.
So-called “midnight regulations” passed near the end of an administration
typically lack in-depth study or sufficient time for public comment. Sen. Joni
Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) have
introduced identical legislation in their respective chambers.
business owners struggle to keep up with the constant creation of new
regulations,” said Amanda Austin, NFIB
Vice President of Public Policy. “Rushed regulations are even worse for
them as agencies often overlook the effect of the new rules on small employers.
Agencies shouldn’t be able to cut corners as the clock winds down on the Obama
According to NFIB research, small business owners consistently cite “government
regulations and red tape” as one of the top three biggest challenges facing
their business. Both recent Republican and Democratic administrations have
increased the number of rules being pushed through agencies at the end of their
term. This year, the non-partisan Mercatus Center at George Mason University
has identified at least 50 midnight
regulations that could be rushed through the approval process.
“There is real concern that agencies could rush major changes to
existing regulations such as the overtime rule,” said Austin. “While the
Department of Labor published a draft last year, they hinted that there could
be more modifications to the rules for exemptions. However, no specific changes
were proposed. In the rush to finalize the rule before the end of the
administration, small businesses could be left voiceless about how these
changes could affect their workforce and their ability to continue operating a
The Midnight Rule Relief bill would establish a moratorium on new rules
and regulations beginning on the day after the election and running through the
inauguration of the new President. The NFIB has written letters of support for
both of the bills introduced in the House and Senate.