Third Party & Independents Archives

Re-Balancing Obama's White House

By January 1980 when small business representatives gathered in Washington for the first White House Conference on Small Business, there were 90 agencies issuing thousands of new rules every year. One fears even hazarding a guess as to the state of regulatory burden in 2015, but it is safe to say that the Regulatory Flexibility Act that was born in 1980 was meant, and is meant, to give small business a break from the overwhelming burden of agency rule-making. It essentially puts a pause in the process so that the costs and impact of any new rule can be assessed by those affected. Trust Obama’s team to have found a way to pivot around this constraint and deem significant new rule-making as being mere change in interpretation of said rules rather than actually being new rules.

The House is fighting back now through the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 which has the same purpose, protecting small business from eager rule making in Washington. Or at least slowing things down just a little for them to be able to voice their concerns, and measuring the cost of regulation as well. The new legislation, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act, would close the loophole that Obama has been using, where the process of consultation is avoided if interpretations rather than changes to regulations are involved. It would also include assessments of the impact of proposed rules, or their new interpretations, on local economies.

The key sticking point will be Democratic filibustering in the Senate, but the hope is that enough moderates can be convinced to support the new legislation. Basically, Congress is pushing back on Obama's White House and it's love of executive action over legislative deliberation. It seems a healthy rebalancing of the separation of powers and one hopes that the legislation prospers in the end. A few million small business owners do as well.

Posted by AllardK at February 4, 2015 8:02 PM
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