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Senators Introduce Legislation to Reduce Onerous Government Regulations on Job Creators

"With 9.1 percent unemployment, we should be pursuing policies that make it easier, not harder to hire."

 Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), with Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jim Risch (R-ID), and Pat Toomey (R-PA),today introduced a bill to reduce excessive unfunded government mandates on job creators, giving them greater freedom to invest in their companies and hire new workers.

"At a time when American employers are struggling to expand and grow jobs, the federal government should not be imposing unnecessary costs on the private sector," said Portman. "With 9.1 percent unemployment, we should be pursuing policies that make it easier, not harder to hire. This legislation will help job creators compete globally rather than be held back by stifling government mandates."

The new legislation would strengthen the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), for which Portman was a lead co-sponsor in the 104 th Congress. UMRA was a bipartisan effort to prevent Congress and federal regulators from blindly imposing major economic burdens on the private sector and on state, local and tribal governments without weighing the costs and benefits.

"While Washington continues to add thousands of pages of regulations on the backs of America's job creators, Texas has managed to be a leader when it comes to job creation because of its job-friendly, common-sense regulatory system," said Sen. Cornyn. "I'm proud to cosponsor a bill that helps Washington become more like Texas by curbing government overreach to help clear a path for economic growth across the country."

"The small businesses are the creative engines of job growth and the private sector is where solid economic recovery begins. For far too long, government regulations and mandates indifferent to economic consequence have stifled entrepreneurship, and this legislation helps promote fuller decision-making and transparency to see how government mandates affect job creation," said Sen. Crapo. "In addition to needed improvements to our tax and financial policies, regulatory reform will help promote job creation and allow our business leaders to be more competitive and dynamic in the marketplace."

"It is unfortunate that a majority of folks running this country have never run a small business so they don't understand the harm some rules and regulations can cause," said Sen. Enzi. "This bill will give small businesses a better chance to succeed by forcing government agencies to think twice and consider the real world effects before passing down a regulation."

"With our unemployment topping nine percent, Washington needs to stop pushing more mandates and costs onto the backs of our nation's small businesses and job creators," said Sen. Hatch. "More regulations and mandates is the wrong prescription to jump starting our economy. This legislation makes sense and gets Washington out of the way so businesses can get back in the business of hiring."

"Government's top priority should be the economy and jobs, not creating new layers of bureaucracy. This bill helps accomplish that by ensuring regulations are limited and promote free market-based solutions wherever possible," said Sen. Risch.

"I am supporting UMRA because limiting costly and burdensome regulations will help our economy grow, create jobs, and give small businesses the flexibility they need to thrive," Sen. Toomey said. "In Pennsylvania, many job creators and small businesses are struggling under the heavy weight of unnecessary government mandates. This legislation will offer much needed regulatory relief by encouraging government agencies to consider the negative and unintended consequences of new regulations."

Among other measures, the legislation would require agencies to specifically assess the potential effects of new regulation on job creation or job loss; consider market-based and non-government alternatives to regulation; require agencies to choose the least burdensome regulatory option that achieves the policy goal set out by Congress; extend UMRA to independent agencies; and permit courts to review an agency's economic impact analysis under UMRA.