Rep. Gary Condit (D, Calif.) and Rep. Rob Portman (R, Ohio) have introduced a bill, the Mandate Information Act, into the House of Representatives that would require Congress to consider the private-sector impact of so called "unfunded mandates." Such mandates -- any federal taxes or regulations that impose direct costs on private businesses -- have been increasing in recent years and have attracted rising opposition from business groups. The Condit-Portman bill specifically would direct the Congressional Budget Office to provide Congress with estimates of the cost to consumers and businesses of any mandates reported out of Congressional committees. "This is an opportunity to start the 106th Congress with a spirit of bipartisan unity," observes Dan Danner, top lobbyist for the National Federation of Independent Business. The Washington, D.C.-based association represents small business, which has been hit particularly hard by mandates.