(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – A group established by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) to fight against excessive federal regulations now has 170 members in Nevada and 1,000 nationwide, the organization announced this week.
The coalition Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations says its mission is protecting small businesses and American jobs from the impacts of costly federation regulations.
Coalition Chairwoman and former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln said of the 1,000 member mark hit Monday: “Small businesses across America are rallying behind the need for sensible regulations. With federal regulatory requirements being finalized daily in Washington, small businesses are struggling to balance compliance costs and paperwork with their ability to fill orders, add staff, and stay afloat.
“As our coalition grows, we stand united in calling on President Obama to halt the issuance of new regulations until much needed reforms are made to the rule-making process,” she said.
Randi Thompson, Nevada state director for NFIB, said today that the cause has hit a nerve with small businesses throughout the state. The group has reached out to about 3,000 businesses so far.
“I’d say more than anything it is folks that are impacted by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency),” she said. “But the EPA is touching everything, from construction to dry cleaners to truckers. They’ve got such a broad reach, that that’s probably the most frustrating agency for Nevada businesses.”
A wide variety of businesses have joined, from landscapers to dentists to dry cleaners to construction companies, Thompson said.
“It is a broad spectrum of businesses,” she said.
Not everyone is convinced that federal regulations are hampering job growth.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a speech on the Senate floor on Nov. 15 called the idea a myth, citing the Labor Department that found “only a tiny fraction of layoffs have anything at all to do with tighter regulation.”
Nevada coalition members recently traveled to Washington, DC, to meet with their elected representatives to discuss their concerns, and it is shaping up as an election issue in 2012, Thompson said. The group met with the Republican members of Nevada’s delegation.
Earlier this month, NFIB President Dan Danner and Senator Lincoln submitted a letter to President Obama urging adoption of five principles into the regulatory process that would help balance the rule-making system.
The standards include giving a seat to small businesses throughout policy discussions, and focusing on providing assistance to small businesses instead of levying costly penalties. The letter also asked that regulators conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis of all new rules, and base policy decisions on validated science and hard data. Finally, it called on lawmakers to make the regulatory process more transparent and accountable to the public.
GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval, upon taking office in January, ordered a freeze on most regulations as a pro-business move. He also recently wrote to President Obama asking to help ease the permitting process for mines.