Letter supporting S. 3024, the "Job Impact Analysis Act of 2010"
February 26, 2010
Dear Senators Snowe and Pryor:
As a longstanding advocate for reducing the burden small businesses face in creating jobs, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauds your leadership for introducing S. 3024, the "Job Impact Analysis Act of 2010." If enacted, this legislation would require lawmakers to take into account the potential for job creation and loss during the legislative process, require federal agencies to take seriously its responsibilities to small businesses during the rulemaking process, and provide budgetary independence for the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy.
Eliminating loopholes, providing clarity to existing provisions and adding new agency requirements to further enhance the effectiveness of Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) during the rulemaking process is long overdue. One such clarification of the RFA, having agencies account for the direct and indirect economic impact of rules on small entities that are reasonably foreseeable, unmistakably establishes the original intent of the legislation that, over time, has been eroded by the courts. Currently, agencies ignore reasonably foreseeable economic impacts of their rules when doing a regulatory flexibility analysis.
Additionally, expanding and defining agency duties to periodically review existing rules under section 610 of the RFA would send a clear signal to agencies that have used ambiguities in the legislative language to skirt their duties under this provision. Having agencies justify the continued existence, after a period of time, of rules on the books that impose a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities should be an integral part of the annual federal agency regulatory process.
Finally, the Office of Advocacy plays a vital role for small businesses in the regulatory process. The effectiveness of this office is achieved by their ability to advocate as an independent voice on behalf of small businesses within the administration. However, the Office of Advocacy is currently funded as part of the total Small Business Administration's budget, rather than with its own budgetary independence. Requiring the transparency of a line-item within the federal budget, as contained in this legislation, would provide further assurances that the Office of Advocacy is not subjected to partisan pressures that may undermine its mission and effectiveness on behalf of small businesses.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region. More than 96 percent of the Chamber's members are small businesses with 100 or fewer employees. The Chamber thanks you again for your leadership on introducing this important piece of legislation and we look forward to working with you on its passage.
R. Bruce Josten
Cc: The Members of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship