Hello Trump! Goodbye Regulations?

Date: January 27, 2017

The recently inaugurated president is making good on campaign promises by issuing an order to freeze any new regulations, including the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States rule.

It looks like President Donald Trump is about to make good on his regulatory campaign promises—much to small business’ delight

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus late last week sent out an order to executive departments and agencies to hold off on any new or pending regulations, according to CNN

NFIB WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU: Tell us how excessive regulations have affected your business >> 

Among the rules facing elimination are the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States—policies that NFIB and its members have been fighting for years. Both rules are under a stay right now, but it appears Trump plans to have agencies rewrite or even eliminate the proposed regulations. 

“Some of the most costly and onerous regulations on small businesses have come out of [President Barrack Obama’s] administration, including the Overtime rule, Waters of the United States rule, and the Clean Power Plan,” said Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “These rules have set a dangerous precedent, allowing regulators to circumvent small business’ voice in the rule-making process.”

According to the administration’s website, lifting these regulations will help American workers and increase wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years. Trump also reiterated his promise during a meeting at the White House on Jan. 23, where he said he would “cut regulations by 75 percent.” 

By the end of 2016, there were 97,110 pages in the Federal Register, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and a whopping 600 of those affected small businesses directly. Regulations have become an increasingly big problem for small businesses: Owners said regulations were their fifth greatest concern in 2012; regulations have since jumped to the second greatest concern in 2016, according to NFIB’s 2016 Small Business Problems & Priorities report. Overall, 72 percent of small business owners believe regulations are a serious problem.

Trump is also targeting the Affordable Care Act. He issued an order on Jan. 20 to ease the law’s regulations, according to CBC News. Under his proposal, federal agencies wouldn’t be able to issue regulations that would broaden the law’s power. The Department of Health and Human Services and other departments would also be able to “delay implementing any piece of the law that might impose a ‘fiscal burden’ on states, healthcare providers, families, or individuals.” 

“Small businesses bear a disproportionate amount of the regulatory burden as compared to larger corporations,” Harned said in a recent testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and the Government Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management. “It’s the small business owner, not one of a team of ‘compliance officers’ who is charged with understanding new regulations, filling out required paperwork, and ensuring the business is in compliance with new federal mandates. Every hour a small business owner spends understanding and complying with a federal regulation is one less hour she has to service customers and plan for future growth.”

Harned also pointed out that small businesses employ 58 million Americans and create more than half of the jobs in the country. “If lawmakers and the next administration are serious about growing the economy, they’ll fix what is stifling the small business sector: regulations.”

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore


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