(Editor’s Note: Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 527, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act. Below are remarks made by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California before the vote on the bill.)

I recently read a headline about the President’s budget. You know what it said? ‘Budget Proposal is Obama’s Map Back to Big Government.’ Think about that for a moment. There used to be a time in the White House when they said, ‘the era of big government is over.’

Now, it’s like we’re heading back in time.

Everyone knows why the era of big government should be over. It’s because big government has big costs. Large, inefficient programs cost a lot of money, which means higher taxes and more debt.

But there are other costs to big government too. As government grows, so does bureaucracy, and more bureaucracy means more regulations. These regulations—tens of thousands of pages—get put on the backs of every single individual and business that works hard and tries to get by.

In fact, for small businesses, regulations add almost $1,000 per employee per month. Think of that: $1,000 per employee per month. That makes it that much harder for our economy to grow and for small businesses to create jobs.

America needs full-scale regulatory reform so that the bureaucracy is held accountable for all these costs. Now, I know that’s a big goal, but Representative Chabot’s bill is a step to realizing that goal.

This bill forces agencies to consider the least costly options for getting something done, just like every American has to do in this tough economy. And it makes agencies actually have to think about the impact the regulations have on small businesses.

President Clinton said that the “era of big government is over,” and it should be over. America simply cannot afford to tie down small businesses and hardworking people with more red tape.

So let’s take a step forward. Let’s move forward ending the era of big government.