WASHINGTON (2/6/15)--A bill that would force regulators to take into account small businesses during the rulemaking process was passed Thursday by the U.S. House by a vote of 260-163. The Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvement Act of 2015 (H.R. 527), is supported by CUNA, who along with a broad coalition of trade organizations, signed a letter of support for the bill Wednesday.
"This is an important step in the right direction, and I thank Rep. Chabot for his leadership in standing up for small businesses," said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) is the chief sponsor of the bill and chair of the House Small Business Committee.
The bill requires federal agencies to better assess the impacts of their regulations on small business and to look for ways to reduce unnecessary burdens and design less onerous rules.
"It only makes sense that those imposing regulations in Washington would be mandated to communicate better with the small business community and actively search for ways to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens," said Chabot.
The bill would modernize a 1980 law, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which the Small Business Administration (SBA) estimated saved small businesses $4.8 billion in fiscal year 2014 alone. The RFA does not cover all rules that impact small businesses, since the businesses affected are not directly regulated entities.
If passed by the Seante and signed into law, the Chabot bill would give the SBA's Office of Advocacy additional authorities, and the office would be required to establish standards for conducting a regulatory flexibility analysis during a rulemaking process.