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A Busy Week in WashingtonPosted Friday, December 9, 2011, at 5:14 PM
This week, the House continued to pass legislation to put Americans back to work. I'm pleased to report that two bills I cosponsored passed the House and will now move on to the Senate. These bills focus on reining in the Obama Administration and preventing unelected bureaucrats from burdening American small businesses with unnecessary regulations. I also introduced legislation this week that would reduce the costs of going public for small and medium-sized companies, allowing them to raise much needed capital in order to invest and create jobs. On a lighter note, my daughter, Sarah came to Washington this week and was a very big help.
Fighting for Farmers
Yesterday I voted in favor of H.R. 1633, which provides certainty to rural America regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ability to regulate dust. This bill prohibits the EPA from issuing any new rules for coarse particulate matter (PM10), or dust, for one year following enactment into law. It also limits the EPA's ability to regulate nuisance dust, which the bill defines as being generated from natural sources, unpaved roads, agricultural activities, and other activities that occur in rural areas. H.R. 1633 provides farmers and other small business owners with regulatory certainty, while still allowing state and local governments to regulate efficiently. I've never heard anything so crazy as the EPA trying to regulate dust. But that's how out of touch the EPA is with rural America. Imagine not being able to drive down a dirt road or not being able to plow the soil. It seems that the EPA needs some time on a farm before proposing more costly regulations that will devastate rural America.
Reining in Government Regulations
On Wednesday, I voted in favor of H.R. 10, the REINS Act, which curbs federal spending by requiring congressional approval for any federal regulation with an economic impact of $100 million or more. For too long, unelected federal officials have imposed huge costs on the economy and American people through burdensome regulations. These officials are not elected and therefore not held accountable by American voters. The REINS Act is part of the answer to getting federal regulations under control and off the backs of hard working Americans. This legislation is similar to a bill I introduced back in June, H.R. 2175, the Regulatory Balance Act, which requires the Secretary of Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration to perform a cost-benefit analysis on any proposed regulation that is determined to be a significant regulatory action.
New Legislation to Help Small Businesses Create Jobs
On Thursday, I introduced H.R. 3606, the Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies Act of 2011. The legislation would reduce the costs of going public for small and medium-sized companies by phasing in certain regulatory requirements. Over the last ten years, the number of companies going public has fallen dramatically, hurting the ability of small companies to grow, innovate, and hire new workers. The legislation creates a new category of issuers, called "emerging growth companies," that have annual revenues of less than a $1 billion and following the initial public offering (IPO), less than $700 million in publicly traded shares. Exemptions for these "on ramp" status companies would end either after five years, or when the company reached $1 billion in revenue or $700 million in public float. The bill mirrors legislation introduced by a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators last week. Small companies are our nation's best job creators, but have been the hardest hit by burdensome regulations. On average, 92% of a company's job growth occurs after an IPO. It is imperative we reduce regulations to help these small companies create private sector jobs for Americans.
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Stephen Fincher is the U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 8th congressional district.
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