Industry groups rally for regulation reform bill

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The bill, which has bipartisan support, would require that all agencies consider the “indirect” costs to small businesses of their new rules, and would require an outside panel to weigh in on measures expected to have a significant effect on the local companies.

According to the business groups, it “would help alleviate regulatory burdens placed on small businesses while allowing agencies to meet their obligations for public health, safety and the environment.”

The American Farm Bureau Federation, American Beverage Association, Consumer Electronics Association, National Association of Home Builders and National Retail Federation were among the groups that signed the letter.

The Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act is set to be marked up in the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday. The Judiciary Committee passed it in July.

Supporters have held the bill up as a way to make sure that new regulations are not hurting small businesses, especially as the economy continues to recover.

Opponents have claimed that it will delay regulations and prevent the government from enacting critical new public protections. They also say that it would saddle federal agencies with new responsibilities without giving them the money to carry out their work.

The Congressional Budget Office has determined that the bill would cost the federal government $45 million over the next five years.

A similar bill passed the House last Congress, but failed to gain traction in the Senate. President Obama pledged to veto that measure if it ever came to his desk.