House Approves Regulatory Relief Bill

The House on Feb. 5 approved NAHB-supported legislation that would require federal agencies to review regulations for their impact on small businesses and consider less burdensome alternatives.

H.R. 527, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2015, would improve the regulatory process by strengthening agency analysis of a rule’s effect on small businesses. Federal agencies often view compliance as largely a procedural function during the federal rulemaking process and not – as Congress intended – an opportunity to reduce the burden of regulations on small businesses.

In a letter to lawmakers urging support of the bill and designating a vote for passage as a “key vote” due to the importance of this issue to small businesses in the home building industry, NAHB said that “H.R. 527 will ensure agencies thoughtfully consider the true effect of regulations on small businesses by requiring a more thorough analysis, including indirect costs associated with the proposed rule. Additionally, the bill’s enhanced judicial review requirements will help increase agency compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act.”

When establishing that act in 1980, Congress said its purpose was to “fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulations. To achieve this, principal agencies are required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given serious consideration.”

Kansas home builder Carl Harris testified before Congress on this issue in 2013, stating that “unfortunately, all too often federal agencies view compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act as either a technicality of the federal rulemaking process or, worse yet, as unnecessary.”

H.R. 527 would improve agency compliance with this law, strengthen the regulatory process and restore the original congressional intent to the Regulatory Flexibility Act. For more information, contact Alex Strong at 800-368-5242 x8279.

Article reprinted with permission from NAHB

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