Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) today introduced legislation aimed at forcing Congress to fully consider the implications that significant legislation would have on job creation.  The Job Impact Analysis Act of 2010 would direct the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to estimate in a “job impact statement” the potential job creation or job loss attributable to each bill or joint resolution reported by a Congressional committee that exceeds $5 billion in costs.  Additionally, the bill would ensure that Federal agencies more fully examine the effects of any regulatory proposals on small businesses.

“I believe there is no more urgent imperative than job creation in our country, and we must be fine-focused onto that message” said Senator Snowe, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  “We must simply make sure that the actions we take here in Washington do not augment the pervasive uncertainty confronting America’s nearly 30 million small business owners that has inhibited their ability to grow their firms, invest in new equipment, and hire additional employees.  This bipartisan initiative will guarantee the Federal government – both Congress and agencies of the executive branch – fully consider small business job creation in the legislation enacted by Congress and in the regulations that agencies promulgate.” 

“We must be vigilant in helping small businesses compete and thrive in today’s global economy,” said Senator Pryor, a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  “Part of that commitment means ensuring legislation does not have unintended consequences that cost people their jobs or add new layers of bureaucracy,” Pryor said. “I’m proud to team up with Senator Snowe to promote legislation that advocates for small businesses and in turn benefits the economy.”

In addition to the CBO’s “job impact statement,” the Job Impact Analysis Act of 2010  includes several targeted regulatory reforms that would ensure Federal agencies fully consider small business implications during the rulemaking process, such as strengthening the effectiveness of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which requires agencies to consider the impact of their regulatory proposals on small businesses and analyze effective alternatives that minimize the negative impact on these firms. 

Furthermore, the bipartisan measure would require Federal agencies take into account comments provided by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, a key office that is intended to be the independent voice for small business within the Federal government.  The bill would guarantee the statutory and budgetary independence of the office, whose research demonstrates that the annual cost of federal regulations totals $1.1 trillion, with small firms bearing a disproportionate burden – paying approximately 45 percent more per employee in annual regulatory compliance costs than larger firms.

The reforms contained in the bill are based on the Regulatory Flexibility Reform Act from the 109th Congress and the Independent Office of Advocacy and Small Business Regulatory Reform Act of 2008 from the 110th Congress.