Thursday, February 5, 2015

House passes small-business bill

House passes small-business bill

The House on Thursday passed a bill requiring federal agencies to measure the costs of regulations on small businesses.
Approved 260-163, the measure would require federal agencies to calculate the direct, as well as indirect, costs of proposed rules.
House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), the bill's sponsor, said it would help give small businesses a more influential role in the regulatory process.
"H.R. 527 is not a bill that stops regulations; it allows small businesses to be a part of the solution and provide valuable input during the rule-making process. This bill simply makes government think before it acts by answering, ‘How will this impact America’s working families?' " Chabot said.
Democrats warned the measure's provisions would drag out agency rule-making.
"Under the guise of protecting small businesses from allegedly burdensome regulatory requirements, this bill is just another attempt to prevent regulatory agencies from promulgating regulations that promote and protect the health and safety of Americans," said Rep. John Conyers (Mich.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
The White House issued a veto threat against the bill, saying it would "impose unnecessary new procedures on agencies and invite frivolous litigation."
Before final passage, the House rejected, 172-248, an amendment offered by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) that would exempt all regulations issued by the Food and Drug Administration related to consumer safety.
The House has passed versions of the same bill in the last two sessions of Congress.
Thursday's vote was for the second bill on the House floor this week to reform the regulatory process. The House passed legislation on Wednesday to require federal agencies to report the full economic effects of regulations.
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