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ARSA Recommends Reg Flex Improvements at House Small Business Hearing

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, March 30, 2011 – At a March 30 congressional hearing, Craig Fabian, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association’s (ARSA) vice president of regulatory affairs and assistant general counsel, recommended actions Congress could take to improve the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Reg Flex or RFA).

The House Small Business Committee hearing, “Reducing Federal Agency Overreach: Modernizing the Regulatory Flexibility Act,” lays the foundation for future consideration of RFA reform and agency compliance with the Act.

Fabian described difficulties ARSA has faced challenging a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drug and alcohol testing rule on RFA grounds.

“ARSA’s experience in dealing with federal agencies reveals that the RFA is treated as an annoying burden to the rulemaking process,” Fabian stated. “The agency’s objective seems to be finding a way to avoid engaging in the daunting task of compiling the economic data and considering alternatives to a proposed rule.”

In a 2007 legal challenge, a court sided with ARSA and commanded the FAA to perform an RFA analysis. However, nearly four years later, the agency has still not complied with the court’s mandate. “Indeed, even when specifically commanded by a court of law to carry out an analysis, federal agencies are prone to engage in foot dragging in the apparent hope that the requirement will just go away,” Fabian said.

Fabian suggested several ways Congress could strengthen the RFA, including:

• Creating consequences for failure to comply with Reg Flex requirements;
• Ensuring agencies account for indirect impacts;
• Preventing agency backpedaling on small business impact statements;
• Strengthening statements of congressional intent;
• Enhancing the power of the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy; and,
• Ending congressionally-mandated timelines that rush the rulemaking process.

These improvements would ensure that the RFA analyses are done “right rather than fast” and that existing small business protections have their intended effect.

For more information about the hearing, please visit the House Small Business Committee’s website.

To view Fabian’s testimony, click here. For more information on ARSA’s RFA drug and alcohol testing rule challenge visit here.

Contact:
Jason Langford
Communications Manager
703 739 9543

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ARSA is an Alexandria, Virginia-based trade association that represents aviation maintenance and manufacturing companies. The association has a distinguished 25-year record of advocating for repair stations and providing regulatory compliance assistance to the industry.



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