Lexington, Kentucky Welcomes Advocacy to the (Round) Table
By Jennifer Smith, Assistant Chief Counsel
On July 31, the Office of Advocacy held a Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtable in Lexington, Ky. Rep. Andy Barr, who serves the people of Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District, kicked off the morning with an insight on the impact of federal regulations on small business. He stated that overly burdensome regulations like Waters of the United States, Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Qualified Residential Mortgage impact the economy. He also spoke about the regulatory reform initiatives in Congress, like the Regulatory Accountability Act, the Midnight Regulations Act and the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act or the SCRUB Act and explained why the Congressional Review Act is an important tool. He stated that the goal of the roundtable was to educate the Office of Advocacy about the regulations that are impeding growth in his district.
After Rep. Barr spoke, the small business owners of Kentucky came forward and shared their stories of regulatory burden. The members of the financial services industry spoke about the challenges that they face due to the requirements of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and the problems that they have making loans due to the CFPB’s regulations. An attendee suggested that Congress should include exemptions for small entities when it passes legislation to address some of the burden that the regulations have on small financial institutions.
Other industry representatives agreed that legislation should include exemptions for small businesses. In the telecomm industry, one small business owner stated that four carriers dominate the industry. A bifurcated regulatory approach would help small businesses in this industry.
Advocacy heard from other industries as well. Home builders talked about the impact the EPA rules have on the cost of homes. Truckers spoke about the burdensome regulations from the Department of Transportation. A cigar store owner spoke about Food and Drug Administration rules that impact his business. A small oil company provided insight into the challenges facing oil exploration and production. The horse racing industry explained the problems that they have finding labor because of the limitations that DOL’s H2B program places on migrant workers Businesses also spoke about the challenges that they have with the Affordable Care Act and the Department of Labor’s overtime rules.
Overall, it was an informative morning where Advocacy learned about issues impacting small businesses in general as well as about issues that were unique to Kentucky. Advocacy appreciated the time that the business took from their busy schedules to provide insight into the real impact of federal regulations on small entities.
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