Last week the U.S. House passed H.R. 527, the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, and H.R. 3010, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011, two bills to help restore balance to the federal regulatory system. Both pieces of legislation are intended to help produce more effective regulations at a smaller cost to the economy. If enacted, the bills would increase transparency throughout the regulatory process by inviting more public participation, and they would limit the burden on business owners by requiring cost-benefit analysis of all new rules. H.R. 527 passed by a vote of 253-167 on Thursday; H.R. 3010 was approved Friday by 263-159.
Blanche Lincoln, Chairwoman of Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations, says Congress' approvals are an important first step toward returning balance to the federal rulemaking process. Both bills enjoy the strong support of the hardworking men and women who feel the pressure of government regulation the most - small business owners.
"To get the economy back on a path of recovery, we need to remove the barriers that stand in the way of small businesses' success," Lincoln said. "These pieces of legislation are just one avenue available. Currently there are hundreds of regulations on the books that the President could address to bring needed relief to the small business community. I stand united with small business owners in calling on the President and other lawmakers to continue to put the needs of small businesses at the forefront of any economic recovery plan."Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations and the National Federation of Independent Businesses have sent a letter to President Obama proposing five commonsense principles to help reform the regulatory system. They include: giving small businesses a greater voice in the regulatory process; providing assistance to small businesses before assessing penalties; requiring major regulation to undergo rigorous cost-benefit analysis; basing decisions only on objective, validated science; and requiring more transparency and accountability.