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Mullin' It Over Column

Good News for Small Businesses

by Congressman Markwayne Mullin

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Washington, May 4, 2017 | comments

Entrepreneurs in Oklahoma have a lot to celebrate this Small Business Week.  Each day, the federal government does more and more to get government out of the way so that our small businesses can succeed.  This is especially true in Oklahoma where more than 345,000 small businesses employ more than half of the private workforce.

Nationally, small businesses represent 99.9 percent of all businesses with employees and account for 2 out of 3 net new jobs.  With over 29 million small businesses across our country, there’s no disagreement that truly they are the backbone of the United States economy and workforce.

I firmly believe the best way for any small business to succeed is to remove government from their daily operations by rolling back regulations that impede growth.  In my past experiences as a small business owner, I know firsthand what it’s like to try to comply with the regulations the government creates on a whim.  One new regulation leads to more time and money expended on compliance that could have gone to hiring additional employees and expanding the business – not to mention the extra pile of paperwork that comes along with each new regulation.

Often, small businesses don’t have the overhead to absorb the compliance costs and their ability to turn a profit lands their business at a dead end.  Excessive regulations cut any chance of entrepreneurs’ success because they can’t comply with all of the federal and state regulations forced on them.

The good news for small businesses is that Congress, with the help of President Trump, is making huge strides every day to cut the bureaucratic red tape that has hindered the growth of small businesses for far too long.  The previous administration finalized more than 3,000 regulations to the tune of $873 billion taxpayer dollars.  In his first 100 days, President Trump signed 13 Congressional Review Act resolutions into law, rolling back some of the most harmful regulations enacted by the Obama Administration.  President Trump also instated a ‘two for one’ rule mandating that for each new regulation created by a federal agency, two must be removed.

Alongside the executive branch’s power to roll back regulations, my bill, the Preventing Overreach Within the Executive Rulemaking System (POWERS) Act ensures transparency and accountability by giving the legislative branch a voice in the rulemaking process of federal agencies.  The POWERS Act directs federal agencies to answer questions and take comments from Congress during the rulemaking process before the rule is finalized.  Congress lending this important oversight allows the legislative body to evaluate the damaging effects a potential regulation might have on small businesses.

With Oklahoma small businesses employing more than 52 percent of the employees in the private sector and making up about 84 percent of our state’s exports, why wouldn’t we want to do everything we can to keep their doors open?  Cutting the bureaucratic red tape that consumes small businesses remains one of my top priorities in Congress so entrepreneurs can continue to positively impact our workforce and economy.

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