WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- House Committee on Small Business Ranking Member Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives today on H. Res. 72. The following are her remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Mister Speaker, small businesses are central to the economic recovery currently underway. Unfortunately, there are many obstacles for entrepreneurs to overcome in order to be successful. One of the most notable is regulatory burden – the hours upon hours it takes an entrepreneur to navigate and complete federal, state, or municipal government paperwork.
"This impediment has grown dramatically in recent years. According to the SBA's Office of Advocacy, rules imposed from the federal government now cost Americans $1.75 trillion each year. This is 50 percent higher than the $1.1 trillion in costs reported in 2005.
"We know that this burden falls heaviest on small firms. Research shows that small businesses face an annual regulatory cost of $10,585 per employee – an amount that is 36 percent higher than those facing large firms. And, federal agencies continue to release tens of thousands of pages of regulations each year.
"With this problem getting worse, it is certainly worth Congress' attention – and already receives it. In the Committee on Small Business, we have been reviewing regulations in a bipartisan fashion for years. As a result of these examinations, we have called on federal agencies to modify or eliminate regulatory requirements that adversely affect small firms whether they are related to medical equipment at CMS, accounting requirements at the SEC, real estate procedures at HUD, or environmental regulations at the EPA. The reality is that we already do what this resolution calls for.
"As a result, today's resolution does not help small businesses. It sets up a bureaucratic process here in Congress with a goal of producing a list of regulations. How does a "list" help small businesses? It doesn't. Anyone that has spent five minutes with a small business owner knows that this is a top problem for them. This resolution is nothing more than a vehicle to rehash old politically-motivated fights and just creates more paperwork here in Congress.
"Instead of approving this green-eyeshade book-keeping resolution, what we need to do is make sure that the actual tools already available to reduce regulatory burden are effective. This includes the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which mandates that federal agencies consider the potential economic impact of federal regulations, as well as conduct periodic reviews of rules that have a significant economic impact on businesses.
"Making these laws work better – or expanding them further – is what we should be doing, instead of passing this resolution. Requiring tougher and more agency reviews of regulations, as well as considering broader economic affects of regulations are necessary. Here in the House, our Committee reported bipartisan legislation in the 110th Congress to do just that.
"As we navigate this issue over the next 24 months, we cannot lose sight of who we are trying to actually help. It is the small business owner that needs our assistance. Unfortunately, if this resolution is the best we can do, small businesses may have to wait a long time for real and meaningful relief."
SOURCE Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee