Regulatory Reform and Regulatory Relief

Floor Speech

Date: June 17, 2013
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HOLDING. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Georgia for the opportunity to discuss this administration's excessive regulation.

We know the harmful effect that overregulation has had on the economy. And since taking office, President Obama and his administration have continuously burdened the American people with an exceptional number of regulations, harming businesses and the economy.

Mr. Speaker, small businesses in this country are essential to our economic stability. Small businesses encourage innovation and hard work. It's the American Dream to have a unique idea and build something from scratch--and that, Mr. Speaker, is exactly what small businesses do.

Mr. Speaker, small businesses have created 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years and employed just over half of all private sector employees. In this stalled economy, small businesses are already struggling to be successful, and we need to take some of the current regulatory weight off their shoulders.

Recently, back home, I spent the week going around to different chambers of commerce in my district. I went to Wake Forest. I went to Fuquay-Varina. I went to Apex. I went to Nashville and Rocky Mount and met with several hundred small business owners and folks who work in small businesses. Of course, I have the constant complaint of overregulation. I started asking the question. I said, Has the government done anything that you know of in the last 5 years which would make your life as a small business person better? I got no positive responses, Mr. Speaker. That's stunning.

New regulations are complicated, and compliance is time consuming and expensive; and sometimes, job creators aren't informed of new regulations in a timely manner, giving them little time to prepare to comply with them. Business owners and their employees are now facing a time of uncertainty due to regulations. They're not confident in government policy coming out of Washington, and they have no trust in the ability of Washington to do things that are in their better interest.

This sense of uncertainty, Mr. Speaker, may prevent an employer from hiring more people or force them to let go of current employees. As Mr. Yoho said earlier in his comments, he has small businesses in his district that are having to shoot lower rather than shoot higher. Small businesses may have to reevaluate how and when they do business, and that is unfortunate. Small businesses have no confidence in their government to give them pro-growth policy.

Excessive regulation harms not only individual small businesses but our country's growth as a whole. The Small Business Office of Advocacy has reported that Federal rulemaking has imposed a cumulative burden of $1.75 trillion on our economy. Earlier this year in the Judiciary Committee, on which I serve, we heard testimony that, in the past 4 years alone, the cumulative cost burden has increased by $520 billion.

Mr. Speaker, I'm not only concerned about the negative effect of regulations on our overall economy, but also the administration's abuse of power. President Obama has been encouraged by regulatory advocates to circumvent regular order and impose his climate change agenda through regulations, and he made it clear in his

State of the Union speech earlier this year his intent to do so.

I'm also concerned with the fact that the administration has repeatedly missed its required deadline for releasing a Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions twice a year. This agenda lays out each governmental agency's proposed regulation and annual regulatory plan, and businesses need to know this information so they can anticipate how forthcoming regulations will affect them. And this administration needs to have more accountability and more transparency about the harmful effects of these abundant--may I say, excessive--regulations.

Mr. Speaker, in my district in North Carolina, many of the towns rely on small businesses. That's all that's there is small businesses. And whether it's a local restaurant owned by the same family for generations or an accounting firm or a clothing store or the town doctor, regulations are a major concern for them. We should be doing what we can do to encourage small businesses, not to deter them with strenuous and excessive regulations.