Washington Update

Regulatory Reform Bill Moves Through House Committee

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On September 18, the House Small Business Committee passed a bill requiring regulators to perform more analyses of the cost of new regulations.

The committee adopted the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act by voice vote. The measure has strong support from a variety of business groups, which say small businesses are overburdened by excessive regulation. Democrats and consumer groups say it would slow down the process of establishing regulations to protect the public and substantially increase the cost of agency actions.

The bill cleared the House Judiciary Committee in July and is sponsored by Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL). A similar bill passed the House in 2011, but never moved in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

“Not all regulations are bad, but they can become an unnecessarily costly and time-consuming burden on small firms,” Rep. Graves said in a statement. “Federal agencies are churning out regulations at a record pace, and too much red tape hampers economic growth.”

The vote came after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determined the legislation would cost the federal government $45 million over five years.

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