NFIB Legal Center Represents Small Business on Regulations in U.S. House

Date: March 14, 2018

NFIB Small Business Legal Center Executive Director Karen Harned testified before the members of the United States House Committee on Small Business on Wednesday, March 7.

The Committee heard from a panel of stakeholders on the effects of Congress and the President’s regulatory reform and rollback efforts for small business. The panel also spoke on what can be done to improve or lighten the load of regulatory burden.  

Harned spoke to the committee about the positive impact that deregulation has had on small business, along with small business concerns about overregulation.

“In a small business poll on regulations, NFIB found that almost half of small businesses surveyed viewed regulation as a ‘very serious,’ 25 percent, or ‘somewhat serious,’ 24 percent, problem,” she said.

According to Harned, “government regulations and red tape” has been listed among the top-three problems for small business owners since January 2009. This is based on the NFIB Research Center’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends survey.

Those regulations include compliance costs, difficulty understanding regulatory requirements, and extra paperwork.

“With that as background, it is not surprising to learn that America’s small business owners view President Trump’s commitment to rolling back unnecessarily burdensome and duplicative regulation as one of his Administration’s greatest accomplishments in his first year in office,” she told the committee.

Harned credited the Trump administration for its 36 percent reduction of the number of pages in the Federal Register.

“For the fiscal year 2017, President Trump promised to eliminate two regulations for every new one proposed. But the Administration exceeded that goal—eliminating 22 regulations for every new regulatory action. Indeed, agencies undertook sixty-seven deregulatory actions and levied only three regulatory rules. And the Trump Administration promises even more deregulation in 2018,” she said.

Harned asked Congress to help create lasting regulatory reform. She cited Congress’ rejection of 15 regulations under the Congressional Review Act.

“Keeping up with the rulemaking process is not easy for the small restaurant owner in Brooklyn or small manufacturer in Ohio because they are busy running their business. As a result, small businesses depend on the notice-and-comment rulemaking process for the opportunity to voice their concerns,” she said.   

Harned shared that NFIB supports the expansion of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, which was passed two decades ago. Citing the Department of Labor’s “overtime” rule that was passed in 2016, Harned stressed the need for all agencies to use Small Business Advocacy Review panels.

Watch the full hearing on YouTube here.

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