In President Trump’s recent State of the Union address, he emphasized his administration’s elimination of regulations. His efforts – and Congress’s – to reduce regulations are good news for small business owners, who have been increasingly burdened with costly regulatory compliance. Rolling back excessive and unnecessary regulations saves small businesses valuable time and money.
Last year, the National Small Business Association found that the average small business owner spends $12,000 each year to comply with government regulations; the average regulatory compliance cost was more than $83,000 for the first year of operation. These high costs discourage small business owners from expanding and deter entrepreneurs from starting their own businesses.
Regulatory compliance is not only a financial burden; it takes a lot of time as well. One in three small business owners report spending more than 80 hours each year to meet requirements, and fourteen percent report spending more than 20 hours per month on federal regulations.
Congress has given a lot of power to bureaucrats who implement too many regulations – many that are harmful to small businesses and our economy. That is why I have advocated for more scrutiny of rule-making over the last several years. The Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, on which I serve, has advanced many bills to help control excessive government regulations, including the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act and the Midnight Rules Relief Act. The REINS Act would require Congress to approve every new major rule proposed by the executive branch before it can be implemented and enforced. The Midnight Rules Relief Act would make it easier for Congress to strike down regulations a president’s administration tries to implement right before leaving office. The Trump administration has also been focused on regulatory reform, as seen by the president’s Executive Order “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” and the 469 regulations withdrawn last year.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Index of Small Business Optimism reached an all-time high last year. The CEO of the NFIB said 2017 was the most remarkable year in the 45-year history of the Optimism Index. I am optimistic, too. And I will continue working to reduce the regulatory burden back to an acceptable level so small businesses can flourish.