Republicans Are Quietly On The Hunt, Using An Unprecedented Law To Slash 5 Major Obama-Era Regulations
Donald Trump and his team of Republicans are quietly chopping Obama regulations using the Congressional Review Act that was established in 1996. “The law empowers Congress to review, by means of an expedited legislative process, new federal regulations issued by government agencies and, by passage of a joint resolution, to overrule a regulation.”
Trump passed an executive order on Monday that requires the Federal Register to roll back two regulations for each one that’s proposed. Although it’s not that simple for a president to roll back a regulation that has made its way through a public “notice and comment” period and onto the Federal Register.
But that’s where the Congressional Review Act comes in. Since Congress has powers the president does not, and Congress being majority Republican, they will be rolling back major Obama-era regulations with little in the way of public attention.
Although it is rare for Congress to use this law, since it has only been used once before during the Bush administration to repeal a Clinton-era ergonomics rule, Congress is already targeting five Obama-era regulations.
The five rules that are being targeted are:
The stream protection rule
This rule came after a series of incidents where coal mines poisoned local water supplies. The rule forces mining companies to develop a plan to restore affected streams before beginning any new projects. Coal advocates argued it would put an unreasonable cost on the industry.
The House and the Senate have already voted to roll back this rule. Now it’s in Trump’s hand to sign the rule, which he is expected to do..
The Social Security gun rule
This rule enlisted the Social Security Administration in identifying people with mental impairments that would disqualify them from owning a firearm.
This kept people with mental impairments from handling their own affairs to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
People who oppose this rule have said that it’s a violation of the Second Amendment to keep people with mental disabilities who might not be dangerous from owning a gun.
The House has already voted to roll it back.
The “resource extraction rule”
This rule required oil companies and other resource extractors to disclose payments to foreign governments.
Of course this rule has one huge critic, Trump’s pick for Secretary of State and recent CEO of Exxon Mobil, Rex Tillerson.
Tillerson lobbied against the rule back in 2010, arguing that it was unfair for US companies and that it required them to disclose trade secrets.
Good news for Tillerson, bad news for the rest of the US, is that the House and the Senate have already voted to roll back the rule.
The methane flaring rule
This rule forces companies to limit methane and other chemicals released during extraction. There are more natural-gas extractors in the US than anywhere else in the world, and they release methane gas into the atmosphere in large amounts.
The only thing people who oppose this rule have to say is that it’s too expensive.
The House will be voting by Friday to roll it back.
Obama’s executive order targeting contractors who violate labor laws
This rule mandates the federal government not do business with companies that violate laws governing how bosses can treat workers.
The House voted Thursday to roll it back.