In February, the House of Representatives approved regulatory reform legislation, Achieving Less Excess in Regulation and Requiring Transparency Act of 2014 (H.R. 2804), that NRCA strongly supports. Although the bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, House passage represents progress on a priority issue for NRCA.
What has happened?
The proliferation of new regulations from the federal government is of great concern to many NRCA members. In recent years, numerous regulations have been issued by the Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Labor Relations Board and other federal agencies that have had significant effects on the roofing industry. Additionally, employers affected by the Affordable Care Act's mandate to offer government-approved health insurance to employees now have to wade through thousands of pages of regulations to ensure they comply with the law.
As of early this year, there were 3,305 regulations being worked on by federal agencies with nearly one-third directly affecting small businesses, according to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). During the first two months of 2014, 72 new proposed federal regulations were issued that will affect small businesses; OIRA estimates 12 of them will result in $100 million or more in compliance costs. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service notes there are more than 175,500 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations, an increase of more than 21 percent during the past decade. The estimated cost of all federal regulations in 2013 was $112 billion, resulting in more than 67 million hours of paperwork, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.