H.R. 5982: “Midnight Rules Relief Act”

By at 14 November, 2016, 11:00 am

UPDATEOn November 17, 2016 the House voted on and approved the “Midnight Rules Relief Act,” by a vote of 240-179.


The Honorable Darrell Issa

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515


Dear Representative Issa:

The 100,000 members of the Small Business Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) strongly support H.R. 5982, the “Midnight Rules Relief Act.” H.R. 5982 is an important measure that provides a needed check to the surge in new regulatory activity that often comes during the lame duck period of a President’s final term in office.

During President Obama’s final year alone, more than 2000 proposed rules have already made their way into the regulatory pipeline with 144 defined as “significant,” meaning they will cost our economy $100 million or more. Thousands more have been finalized. Many of these rules impact entrepreneurs, whose firms and startups continue to struggle in a tough economy. As you know, small businesses are already burdened with new and excessive rules that have caused significant damage to their competitiveness.

A fresh rush of red tape ‐ via “midnight regulations” ‐ could lead to more shortcuts in a rulemaking process that is meant to protect small businesses. This is a process that is horribly broken when it comes to accountability, transparency and common sense. The Mercatus Center reviewed data across Administrations from 1975‐2006 and found regulatory analysis quality drops, and regulatory oversight by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) weakens during the “midnight regulatory” period. Poorly constructed and politically-driven new regulations during the end of an Administration’s term, on top of existing burdensome rules, will create more uncertainty for our nation’s small businesses.

H.R. 5982 would provide Congress with needed flexibility in using the Congressional Review Act by allowing a CRA resolution to address more than one rulemaking. This important reform simplifies this critical accountability feature and frees Congress to use its time more efficiently to address the many issues that face our economy and nation.

Thank you for your continued leadership on issues important to entrepreneurs and small business. Please let us know how SBE Council can help in your efforts to advance H.R. 5982 into law.


Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO


cc: Members of the U.S. House of Representatives

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