House lawmakers last week adopted tougher rules requiring federal agencies to gauge the impact of new regulations on small businesses.

The bill, approved unanimously by the House Small Business Committee, seeks to close loopholes in the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, while requiring regulators to broaden their analysis to the indirect effects of new rules on smaller firms.

"It is simply unacceptable to ignore how these regulations may hamper entrepreneurship and innovation," Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), the committee chairwoman, said in a statement.

Thomas Sullivan, chief counsel of the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, said the changes provided "needed assistance to small entities" struggling with compliance costs and procedures.