WASHINGTON, D.C. | May 5, 2016
Innovation and entrepreneurship are at the heart of the American Dream, and small businesses make that dream a reality for so many individuals. As the country’s primary job creators, small businesses employ more than 56 million Americans and play an integral part in the country’s much-needed—albeit slow—economic recovery.
Unfortunately, the administration continues to issue misguided and harmful regulations that will make it harder for small businesses to be successful. From rules that hinder the ability of small businesses to offer employees retirement plans to policies that restrict employer free speech, the Department of Labor (DOL) is creating new hurdles with significant consequences that small businesses simply cannot afford.
To help get the country back on track, House Republicans have put forward a number of responsible solutions to support small businesses—the backbone of our economy. Our commonsense proposals would:
- Protect small businesses from the DOL’s controversial new “persuader” rule. This rule vastly restricts the ability of small business owners to communicate with employees and undermines the rights of their workers to make informed decisions in union elections. Rep. Bradley Bryne’s (R-AL) resolution of disapproval would prevent these consequences and allow small businesses to receive the help they need to navigate a host of complex labor policies. And when small businesses receive the help they need, workers have the information they need to make decisions that are best for their families.
- Ensure federal overtime rules are updated responsibly. The administration’s extreme proposal to change federal overtime rules would raise costs on small businesses and limit workplace flexibility and opportunity. The Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), would ensure DOL pursues a balanced and responsible approach to updating federal overtime rules. The bill promotes transparency and accountability and requires the department to fully and accurately consider the economic impact of any rule on small businesses and others who might be affected.
- Strengthen protections for retirement savers and ensure access to affordable retirement advice. The DOL’s new “fiduciary” rule will make it harder for small businesses to offer their employees retirement plans—putting retirement security further out of reach for millions of families. That’s why Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) introduced responsible alternatives that would require financial advisors to serve their clients’ best interest without harming working families and small businesses. The legislation would ensure small businesses are able to help more Americans retire with the financial security they deserve. The House also passed a resolution that would block the department’s harmful rule from being implemented.
- Restore labor policy that has served small business employers and workers well for decades. The National Labor Relations Board’s partisan decision in Browning-Ferris Industries overturned years of settled labor policy and blurred the lines of responsibility for decisions affecting the daily operations of small businesses across the country. Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) introduced the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act to reestablish long-standing labor policy ensuring more individuals have the opportunity to own their own small businesses.
Ninety-nine percent of all businesses in the U.S. are small businesses. That’s why it’s crucial Congress continues to promote policies that serve the best interests of these job creators and protect the spirit of entrepreneurship that helps more individuals achieve the American Dream.