Reining in Regulations for Small Businesses in Eastern Washington

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“Good intentions don’t always add up to practical policy.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) continues to advance solutions to correct overly burdensome Federal regulations.

Her common sense solutions take advantage of technological innovations to provide different types of small businesses flexibility in the way they provide nutritional information to their customers.

Today, McMorris Rodgers delivered the following statement to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health regarding her bill, H.R. 2017, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015.

The legislation will clarify the intent of the FDA’s recently finalized menu labeling regulations, which are over 400 pages long. Estimates state that this regulation could cost American businesses more than $1 billion to comply and 500,000 hours of paperwork. 

McMorris Rodgers coauthored the legislation and is an advocate for small business owners who will be gravely impacted by overbearing and costly FDA regulations.

Remarks, prepared for delivery:

“Good morning. I’d like to thank Chairman Pitts and Chairman Upton for their attention to this important issue and Rep. Loretta Sanchez for co-leading this bill. Our joint efforts to clarify these regulations and represent the needs of America’s small business owners are critical. I’d also like to thank Chairman Upton and the nearly 40 other bipartisan Members who have thus far agreed to cosponsor.

“H.R. 2017 is simple – clarify the intent of this nearly 400 page regulation so that businesses can comply with it and so that consumers have access to caloric information. This is why my staff and I have met with stakeholders and other Member offices on all sides of this issue more than 20 times this year and asked how we can improve this legislation. Something we heard again and again was that the 50% revenue trigger for what defines a restaurant is not fair.

“I would like to ask unanimous consent to insert into the record – A letter from the National Restaurant Association to Congress on April 28th that only discusses the 50% revenue exemption in HR 2017 as concerning. I would like to say that these concerns have been heard – and I intend to fully address them as we move to committee markup. I hope that today we can move on and discuss the merits of this important legislation beyond this one point.

“Like many other regulations, good intentions don’t always add up to practical policy. This regulation tries a cookie cutter approach to treat grocers and pizzerias like Capital Grille and Outback Steakhouse. I don’t think this is workable or affordable – estimates state that this regulation could cost American businesses more than $1 billion to comply and 500,000 hours of paperwork. Requiring Domino’s franchisees to post in their stores every potential topping combination – more than 34 million possible outcomes – when more than 90% of their orders take place over the phone or internet – just doesn’t make sense.

“This is commonsense legislation that provides access to caloric information in a practical and flexible manner by clarifying, not significantly altering, this complicated regulation. We have been requesting comments from stakeholders since January and have heard several on the revenue trigger, which we have agreed to address – I hope that we can now move on to the next stop of the regular order process. This bill is ready to move, Mr. Chairman.”

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