Senators Risch, Lankford, and Grassley Introduce Small Business Regulatory Relief Bill Lankford (R-OK) introduced the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act to require federal agencies to analyze the full impact of a proposed regulation on small businesses during the...
RFA of 1980 requires federal agencies to assess the impact of proposed regulations on "small entities." Under the RFA, agencies, including independent agencies, must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for rules deemed to have a “significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” However, the RFA failed to define “significant economic impact" or "substantial number of small entities," leaving agencies with broad discretion to decide when regulatory flexibility analysis requirements are triggered.
The SBREFA of 1996 amended the RFA to create additional requirements agencies must follow when promulgating rules that impact small entities, however deficiencies in both of the RFA and SBRFA left small businesses burdened by massive, one-size-fits-all regulatory schemes.
Agencies are frequently able to work around RFA and SBREFA requirements by: (1) considering only the direct economic impacts of proposed rules; (2) not including tribes as a small entity; (3) exempting IRS regulations; (4) requiring small business review panels of only three agencies; and (5) allowing agencies to sign off on rules as having “no significant economic impact” without detailed analysis.