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House Approves Regulatory Reform Bills

The House approved two bills that contain significant reforms to the federal regulatory process to reduce burdens on job creators, particularly small businesses.

Approved by a Dec. 1 vote of 263-169, the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011 (H.R. 527) is intended to strengthen the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the law that requires federal agencies to consider the impact of regulations during the rulemaking process. H.R. 527 would strengthen the RFA by mandating that federal agencies consider both direct and indirect economic impacts of regulation while also making it easier for companies to improve RFA compliance.

ARSA has long been an advocate for strengthening small business RFA protections. The Association’s legal battle with the FAA over its 2006 drug and alcohol testing rule was premised on the agency’s failure to follow RFA requirements. Additionally, ARSA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Craig Fabian, recommended improvements to the RFA at a House Small Business Committee hearing earlier this year.

On Dec. 2 the House also approved the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011 (H.R. 3010), 253-167. The bill attempts to restore the need for narrowly tailored regulations by increasing public participation and restricting the use of interim final regulations that don’t go through the traditional rulemaking process.

ARSA joined a diverse coalition of more than 100 business and organizations calling for passage of H.R. 3010 to hold regulators accountable for ensuring that regulations be narrowly tailored, supported by strong evidence, and impose the lowest possible burden.

The bills now head to Senate for further action. Stay tuned to the hotline for information about their progress.

Thanks to all ARSA members who took time to urge your representative’s support using www.ARSAAction.org.

~~~ posted 12/2/11 ~~~



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