Regulatory Relief in Sight: The House Greenlights a Helpful New Bill

Date: January 17, 2017

Regulations have hampered small business growth for decades, but a newly passed bill could soon help lessen the burden.

On the heels of the Federal Register ballooning to 100,000 pages by the end of 2016, small business owners were due for some good news on the regulatory front. And they got it. 

The House passed a package of various regulatory reform proposals known as the Regulatory Accountability Act on Jan. 11, according to Reuters

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Also known as HR5, the bill was passed in a 238-183 vote, with only five Democrats voting for it. In essence, the package instructs federal agencies to create the most cost-effective rules they can. 

“Some of the most significant decisions in Washington—those that most affect the lives of the public—are made by those who don’t stand for election,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.

“What happens when the EPA imposes rules that deprive people of their property rights? Or when the Department of Health and Human Services tries to force nuns to violate their religion? Or when the VA perpetuates a system that lets veterans die while they wait for care?” McCarthy asked. 

“The people can’t vote out the bureaucrats who write rules at the EPA or at the Department of Health and Human Services. They can’t vote out bad leaders at the VA,” he added. “And these bureaucrats know it.” 

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Included within HR5 was a provision known as The Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, which “instructs federal agencies to account for not only the direct costs of their rules, but also the indirect costs and cumulative impacts they will have on small businesses,” The Hill reports. 

“Ball-and-chain regulations are one of the largest impediments to growth in the small business sector,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “They cost a lot of time and money, consuming the resources that small business owners need to survive.” 

“According to our monthly research, ‘government red tape and regulation’ has been a top concern for small business owners for the past 96 consecutive months,” Duggan continued. “Overregulation is a major problem for the economy, and curbing it is one of the top priorities for small business owners.” 

NFIB showed their support for HR5 by sending a letter to the House encouraging them to pass it.

Related: 

Regulation Nation: A Look at Obama’s Legacy 

Small Business to Congress: Regulations Hit Small Firms Harder

House Group: Regulatory Burdens Donald Trump Should Repeal

Related Content: Analysis | Economy | National | Regulations | Regulations

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