SBA Hearing A Breakthrough In ASA Lobbying Efforts

The American Suntanning Association had a major breakthrough in federal lobbying efforts in August, as ASA was chosen to be the second of 20 business interests heard at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Regulatory Fairness hearing in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28.

ASA scientific advisor Joe Levy testified at the hearing about how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Cancer Institute have all broken government rules in how they have proceeded to enact policy and efforts regarding UV and sunbeds, and how the government has bent over backwards to avoid any real input from our market, despite repeated attempts on the record for us to do so, and how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — the cabinet-level department that oversees all of these agencies — needs to get involved in untangling this unnecessary and expensive web of regulatory oversight.

“This wasn’t just us testifying at a hearing. SBA hand-picked us to be perhaps the most prominent presenter at the National Hearing thanks to lobbying efforts from our team,” ASA Executive Director Matt Russell said.

ASA’s Director of Federal Lobbying Whitney Tyler and ASA counsel Jeff Wiener and John Milne attended the hearing – convened to explore markets where government regulation is excessive or unaccountable – with Levy.

Fueling ASA’s case: At least 85 ASA members submitted written testimony to the SBA as formal complaints against the agencies — which gave prominence to our efforts.

At the end of Levy’s presentation, Yolanda Swift, the Deputy National Ombudsman for Regulatory Enforcement Fairness, thanked ASA for its testimony and noted that 85 businesses had already echoed ASA’s complaints – more than any other market at the hearing. SBA Acting Ombudsman Natalie Duncan also commented that our points were heard “loud and clear.”

Swift mentioned specifically that she appreciated the 85 comments and agency complaints they received from ASA members and that they would be passing them along to the individual agencies who will have to reply to SBA within 30 days.  While it is likely some of the agencies will ask for an extension past 30 days, they will have to formally reply to the complaints we submitted to the SBA. Additionally, SBA promised to get HHS involved in our individual complaints with the agencies under its jurisdiction.

The current administration has placed a higher priority on working with SBA to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden where it can.

“Our complaints were very constructive – we had specific asks related to each agency, and how the cabinet-level Department of Health and Human Services needs to be aware of the web of unaccountable actions that is growing between its sub-agencies,” Levy said. “ASA’s position is that none of these groups have sought our input in a meaningful fashion, despite our market begging for exactly that kind of interaction.