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Ernst Gives Small Businesses a Voice in Rulemaking Process

Just last week, under the Biden administration, agencies published eleven rulemakings that cost $43.4 billion in total and add 1.8 million hours in annual paperwork.

WASHINGTON — As the Biden administration ignores existing laws meant to limit unnecessary and costly burdens on small businesses, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is leading the charge to give small businesses a voice in regulations. Today, Ernst introduced the commonsense Prove It Act of 2023 to force federal agencies to demonstrate that any new regulation is compliant with existing laws and considers both the direct and indirect costs placed on small businesses. If regulators continue to ignore the law, small businesses will be exempt from their regulations altogether. 


“For too long, federal bureaucrats have ignored the concerns of our job creators and the negative impact their many rules have on hardworking small and family-owned businesses,”said Ernst. “One-size-fits-all regulations don’t suit Iowa’s entrepreneurs, and that’s why I’m fighting to ensure our small businesses are heard and considered in future regulatory mandates from Washington.”


“Small businesses in Iowa are being crushed by burdensome regulations coming from Washington. For many years, Senator Ernst has fought to reduce red tape and the compliance burdens faced by small businesses. The Prove It Act of 2023 provides small businesses with another opportunity to describe how onerous regulations will impact their ability to invest and grow. NFIB thanks Senator Ernst for her leadership to stand and fight for small businesses in Iowa,” said Matt Everson, Iowa State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business.


“Senator Ernst’s Prove It Act of 2023 will ensure that small businesses have a voice in rules and regulations coming out of Washington. Listening to small businesses’ concerns about the impact of federal regulations needs to be a top priority when Congress considers SBA Reauthorization,” said Tom Sullivan, Vice President for Small Business Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The U.S. Chamber strongly supports Senator Ernst’s work to push back against federal overreach that is magnifying the harmful impact of inflation on Main Streets in Iowa and across the nation.”


“Burdensome regulations and red tape remain significant issues for small businesses across the country, according to NFIB surveys. The NFIB Small Business Legal Center recently released areport that found widespread noncompliance with the small business requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Senator Ernst’s Prove It Act of 2023 seeks to correct these deficiencies by increasing the involvement of small businesses in the regulatory process. On behalf of NFIB’s nearly 300,000 small businesses, we thank Senator Ernst for her efforts to reduce red tape and highlight the impacts of burdensome regulations on small businesses,” said Kevin Kuhlman, Vice President of Federal Government Relations at the National Federation of Independent Business.


“The Iowa Bankers Association supports Senator Ernst’s effort to provide greater transparency for regulatory decisions impacting Iowa’s small businesses.  Iowa has more community banks per capita than any other state.  Our banks are small businesses working side-by-side with their main street counterparts to grow our communities.  One size fits all regulation from Washington threatens this vital function,” said the Iowa Bankers Association.


“As a Chamber of Commerce leader and long-time economic development professional in Sioux City, I am proud to offer my voice and support to Senator Joni Ernst’s Prove It Act of 2023.  This legislation will help ensure that small businesses throughout Siouxland, many of which help feed America, will have a stronger voice in DC and are not unnecessarily obstructed by our federal bureaucracy, while and ultimately promoting economic development in communities, like ours,” said Chris McGowan, President of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce.


"Sen. Ernst's legislation is a victory for small businesses contending with overregulation. Her bill will protect small businesses from executive overreach by finally meaningfully holding government bureaucrats accountable for considering the small business impact of new regulations before they are imposed. It will empower small businesses and their defenders to challenge certifications claiming proposed rules don't significantly impact small businesses. Sen. Ernst's legislation fulfills a key pillar of Job Creators Network's American Small Business Prosperity Plan by reducing the regulatory burden on small businesses," said Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO of Job Creators Network.



The Prove It Act of 2023 would create a way for small businesses to raise concerns when regulators do not consider both the direct and indirect costs their regulations place on them. Ernst’s bill would allow small businesses to ask their chief advocate in government to review agencies’ work and make the government prove they are fully compliant with these already-existing laws. If regulators fail to comply with this review process, then small businesses will be exempt from the agency’s regulations altogether. The bill would also ensure small businesses can easily access preexisting guidance documents online and create a way for small businesses to directly raise questions or concerns with their regulators.