16 Obama Regulations Bite The Dust

 ‘Yet Another Onerous Regulation Is Now Headed To The Wastebasket’


The Congressional Review Act has been used 17 times to overturn rules and regulations. Sixteen of them have been enacted during the 115th Congress. (“Congressional Review Act FAQs,” U.S. Government Accountability Office Website, Accessed 5/21/2018)

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Earlier today, President Trump signed into law a Congressional Review Act resolution that repealed a particularly egregious bit of overreach by President Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Federal regulators found a loophole, skipped the standard periods for review and public comment, and issued unilateral guidance that made life needlessly complicated for the American auto industry and its customers…. [Y]et another onerous regulation is now headed to the wastebasket.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 5/21/2018)


SIXTEEN: Overturning A CFPB Car Loan Rule Imposed ‘In Contravention To The Law’ That Hurts ‘The Very Consumers The CFPB Is Supposed To Be Serving’

“U.S. President Donald Trump signed into a law a congressional resolution overhauling a rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that aimed to bar discrimination in auto lending, the White House said on Monday.” (“Trump Signs Congressional Resolution Overturning Auto Lending Rule,” Reuters, 5/21/2018)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORS: “This is an Obama Administration classic. Recall that Dodd-Frank expressly prohibited the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from regulating auto dealers. That didn’t stop former CFPB chief Richard Cordray, who used the back door of auto-financing to regulate dealers…. In 2013 the CFPB issued ‘guidance’ requiring lenders and dealers to change their practices to account for ‘disparate impact’ … The ‘guidance’ ruse also let Mr. Cordray duck the rule-making process with its formal public-notice period. The bureau proceeded to use the rule to charge discrimination and coerce settlements from auto lenders…. In 2015 the CFPB extended this ‘guidance’ to nonbank auto-finance companies.” (Editorial, “Auto-Lending Lemon Repeal,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/12/2018)

SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): “[The CFPB] is an unaccountable, out-of-control agency that circumvented the proper rulemaking process in order to avoid public scrutiny about what they were trying to do. They imposed their will on an industry that the Dodd-Frank legislation explicitly forbid them from regulating. They developed a badly flawed methodology to allege discrimination on the part of lenders on the basis of race, despite the fact that the lenders didn't know the race of the borrowers. They picked a victim who couldn't fight back. They hit the victim with a $100 million fine without the CFPB knowing that any individual was actually unfairly treated …” (Sen. Toomey, Congressional Record, S. 2209, 4/17/2018)

  • SEN. TOOMEY: “Who ultimately pays the price for this kind of behavior? The very consumers the CFPB is supposed to be serving. Under this very flawed rule of the CFPB, the goal was to effectively prevent auto dealers from being able to discount the interest rate on a loan, being unable to compete with a bank down the road that might be offering a lower rate, being unable to negotiate a term that might be helpful to a borrower.” (Sen. Toomey, Congressional Record, S. 2209, 4/17/2018)

SEN. JIM MORAN (R-KS): “[A]utomobile dealers are specifically excluded from the provisions of Dodd-Frank. So, in my view, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had to work its magic to try to find a way to regulate the financing of automobiles that were arranged for by the automobile dealer in contravention to the law which says that automobile dealers are not covered by it.” (Sen. Moran, Congressional Record, S. 2203-4, 4/17/2018)

ONE: ‘Ending A Key Obama Administration Coal Mining Rule’ That Would Have Put ‘Between 112,757 And 280,809’ Total Jobs At Risk

“President Trump on Thursday signed legislation ending a key Obama administration coal mining rule.” (“Trump Signs Bill Undoing Obama Coal Mining Rule,” The Hill, 2/16/17)

“The Obama Administration … [issued] a punitive 11th-hour regulation on coal. Issued by the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), the rule takes effect Jan. 19 as a classic example of the job-killing rules that Mr. Trump has vowed to overturn.” (Editorial, “Coal In Trump’s Stocking,” Wall Street Journal, 12/20/16)

STUDY: “Total number of jobs at risk of loss, including mining and linked sector employment is between 112,757 and 280,809 (30 to 75 percent of current employment levels).” (“Economic Impacts Of The Office Of Surface Mining’s Proposed Stream Protection Rule (SPR),” Ramboll Environ, 2016)


TWO, THREE: ‘Taking A Hammer To A Pair Of Obama-Era Education Rules,’ Described As ‘Unusually Aggressive And Far-Reaching’

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): “The issue before us was whether the United States Congress writes the laws or whether the Department of Education writes the laws. Under Article I of our Constitution, the United States Congress writes the law, and in at least seven cases this Education Department regulation directly violated the Every Student Succeeds Act law passed just 15 months ago. And in at least 16 other cases, the regulation did something that the Congress did not authorize it to do.” (Sen. Alexander, Press Release, 3/09/2017)

“President Trump rolled back more Obama-era regulations Monday, signing … bills that reverse rules on education…” (“Trump Signs Four Bills To Roll Back Obama-Era Regulations,” USA Today, 3/27/2017)


FOUR: Repealed The Obama Administration’s Blacklisting Rule, Which Would Have Created ‘A Host Of Unintended Negative Consequences For Stakeholders In The Federal Contracting Marketplace, Such As Taxpayers, Federal Contractors, Their Employees And The Federal Acquisition Workforce’

ASSOCIATED BUILDERS & CONTRACTORS: “The Obama administration’s ‘blacklisting’ rule—no matter how well-intentioned—creates a host of unintended negative consequences for stakeholders in the federal contracting marketplace, such as taxpayers, federal contractors, their employees and the federal acquisition workforce.” (Associated Builders And Contractors, Inc., Letter To U.S. Senators, 2/2/17)

“President Trump repealed the so-called ‘blacklisting rule’ Monday…” (“Trump Repeals 'Blacklisting Rule,'” The Hill, 3/27/2017)

“The Senate voted Monday to repeal another last-minute regulation President Obama imposed before leaving office in January, one that would have required companies to report labor law violations or allegations while bidding for federal contracts.” (“Senate Repeals Another Obama 'Moonlight' Reg,” Washington Examiner, 3/6/17)


FIVE: Congress Passes Bill To ‘Scale Back Federal Control On Lands Managed By The Bureau Of Land Management’

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): “The Obama administration’s Planning 2.0 rule makes sweeping changes to how BLM develops resource management plans, shifts decision-making authority away from the impacted states to Washington, DC, and disregards BLM’s multiple-use mission. If left intact, it will harm grazing, timber, energy and mineral development, and recreation on our public lands…. By rescinding this rule, we can return power and decision-making authority to those who actually live near BLM lands in western states.” (Sen. Murkowski, Press Release, 1/30/2017)

“With the stroke of his pen, [President] Trump will … scale back federal control on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management… Critics of the rule -- known at ‘Planning 2.0’ -- said the rules would minimize local input in land management and stymie public comment, while giving the federal government more authority on what to do with the space.” (‘Trump Tries To Make Good On Promises To Roll Back Obama-Era Regulations,” CNN, 3/28/2017)

“The US Senate has overturned an Obama Administration rule that put power of land management on Capitol Hill, and took it out of the hands of local powers. The BLM Planning 2.0 Rule implemented sweeping changes to how the BLM resource management plans.” (“BLM Planning 2.0 Rule Overturned,” KGWN-TV Cheyenne, 3/07/2017)


SIX: Congress ‘Reverses A Rule Intended To Help Google And Amazon’ At The Expense Of Consumers

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ): “The FCC’s midnight regulation has the potential to limit consumer choice, stifle innovation, and jeopardize data security by destabilizing the internet ecosystem. Passing my resolution is the first step toward restoring a consumer-friendly approach to internet privacy regulation that empowers consumers to make informed choices on if and how their data can be shared. It will not change or lessen existing consumer privacy protections.” (Sen. Flake, Press Release, 3/23/2017)

“President Trump signed legislation Monday night … rolling back a landmark policy from the Obama era and enabling Internet providers to compete with Google and Facebook in the online ad market.” (“Trump Has Signed Repeal Of FCC's Internet Privacy Rule,” LA Times, 4/4/2017)

“The Phony Internet Privacy Panic: The GOP reverses a rule intended to help Google and Amazon, not you.” (Editorial, “The Phony Internet Privacy Panic,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/21/2017)

  • “The FCC … promulgated a rule that, curiously, did not apply to companies like Google or Amazon, whose business model includes monetizing massive data collection—what panda videos you watch or which gardening tools you buy. The rule was designed to give an edge to Twitter and friends in online advertising, a field already dominated by Silicon Valley.” (Editorial, “The Phony Internet Privacy Panic,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/21/2017)


SEVEN: ‘Bill Nixing Obama-Era Guns Rule’ Which ‘Unnecessarily And Unreasonably Deprives Individuals With Disabilities Of A Constitutional Right’ Passes

“Trump signs bill nixing Obama-era guns rule: … Who opposed the rule? Interestingly, the rule had opponents across a wide spectrum. Both the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union spoke out against it.” (“Trump Signs Bill Nixing Obama-Era Guns Rule,” CNN, 2/28/17)

“Critics argue the rule stripped Second Amendment rights from people who are not dangerously mentally ill, such as those with eating or sleeping disorders or disabilities that prevent them from managing their own finances.” (“Senate Nixes Obama-Era Gun Rule,” The Hill, 2/15/17)

NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY: “Because of the importance of the constitutional right at stake and the very real stigma that this rule legitimizes, NCD recommends that Congress consider utilizing the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal this rule.” (National Council On Disability, Letter To Majority Leader McConnell & Speaker Ryan, 1/24/17)


EIGHT: Republican Congress ‘Sends SEC Disclosure Rule To The Dust Bin’ That Could Have Cost American Businesses Up To $590 Million Annually

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “We all want to increase transparency, but we should not raise costs on American businesses only to benefit their international competition. Let’s send the SEC back to the drawing board to promote transparency without the high costs or negative impacts on American businesses.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 2/2/17)

“…Donald Trump signed legislation Tuesday that repealed a Dodd-Frank Act energy regulation under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).” (“Trump Signs Repeal Of Obama Era Energy Regulation,” The Daily Caller, 2/14/17)

“Senate sends SEC disclosure rule to the dust bin: The Senate Friday gave its thumbs up to a resolution to nullify a SEC rule…” (“Senate Sends SEC Disclosure Rule To The Dust Bin,” Politico, 2/3/17)

SEC On The Cost Of The Rule: “Quantitative Estimates of Compliance Costs … Annual ongoing compliance costs… Total costs: Lower bound - $94,528,370; Average: $267,061,300; Upper bound: $590,699,900.” (Security And Exchange Commission, “17 CFR Parts 240 and 249b,” Pg.192)


NINE: Repealing An Obama-Era Rule To ‘Allow Companies To Focus On Employee Safety Instead Of Paperwork’

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): “The Obama administration routinely used executive authority to disregard judicial oversite. This Joint Resolution will ensure that our government faithfully follows the letter and spirit of the law.” (Sen. Cassidy, Press Release, 3/22/2017)

  • SEN. CASSIDY (R-LA): “This regulatory scheme represents a backwards approach to workplace safety and it is a blatant overreach by the federal government.” (Sen. Cassidy, Press Release, 3/22/2017)

“The Senate recently voted to nullify an Obama-era OSHA safety regulation – the so-called ‘Volks rule’ – which extends the time period for OSHA to cite employers for failing to report workplace injuries and illnesses….Republicans criticized the rule, claiming the Obama administration overstepped its boundaries and that repealing the law will allow companies to focus on employee safety instead of paperwork.” (“Senate Nixes Volks Rule, An Obama-Era Workplace Safety Rule,” The National Law Review, 3/28/2017)


TEN: Congress ‘Repeals Alaskan Bear Hunting Regs’ – ‘Upheld States’ Rights, Protected Alaska’s Hunting And Fishing Traditions, And Put A Swift End To The Fish And Wildlife Service’s Wanton Effort’ To Infringe Alaskan Rights

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): “I was pleased to get a call from President Trump yesterday after he signed the disapproval resolution to overturn the rule restricting Alaska's ability to manage wildlife on federal refuge lands… By signing it, the president has upheld states’ rights, protected Alaska’s hunting and fishing traditions, and put a swift end to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s wanton effort to take greater control of nearly 77 million acres of our state.” (Sen. Murkowski, Press Release, 4/4/2017)

“Trump repeals Alaskan bear hunting regs: The Obama-era rule from the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) prohibited certain hunting tactics that target ‘predator’ animals likes bears and wolves while they are inside Alaska’s national preserves. … Trump overturned the rule Monday, handing control of the hunting regulations over to Alaska state officials who have shown an eagerness to control predator populations as a way to protect other animals such as deer.” (“Trump Repeals Alaskan Bear Hunting Regs,” The Hill, 4/3/2017)

  • “…when [Alaska] state officials wanted to extend ‘predator control’ to federal wildlife refuges, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said no. And after years of saying no, the agency late last year adopted a rule to make the denial permanent. Alaska's elected officials called that an outrage and an infringement on state rights. … Congress explicitly gave Alaska authority to manage wildlife in the Alaska Statehood Act and two more laws, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, said after voting to revoke the rule.” (“Trump Revokes Alaska Refuge Rule,” AP, 4/4/2017)


ELEVEN: Labor Department Regulation ‘Undermined The Ability Of States To Conduct Drug Testing,’ Another Example Of Executive Overreach By The Obama Administration’

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): “Under the previous administration, the Department of Labor undermined the ability of states to conduct drug testing in their programs as permitted by Congress… This rule was yet another example of executive overreach by the Obama administration, and I commend President Trump for signing this resolution into law.” (“Trump Signs Cruz-Brady Bill To Expand Drug Testing Of Unemployment Benefit Applicants,” Dallas News, 3/31/2017)

“President Donald Trump on Friday signed legislation backed by two Texas Republicans that will allow states to expand the pool of applicants for unemployment benefits who can be drug tested.” (“Trump Signs Cruz-Brady Bill To Expand Drug Testing Of Unemployment Benefit Applicants,” Dallas News, 3/31/2017)

  • “Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled Congress have complained that under President Barack Obama, the government placed too many limits on states for deciding which unemployment applicants can be drug-tested. The Labor Department's regulation meant that states could only test applicants for unemployment benefits who do jobs that require drug testing. The resolution passed by the House and approved by the Senate 51-48 on Tuesday would cancel those limits.” (“Trump Is Expected To Sign Off On Expanding Drug Tests For The Unemployed,” Fortune, 3/14/2017)


TWELVE & THIRTEEN: Protecting The Retirement Nest Eggs Of Hard-Working Americans

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT): “These regulations encourage state and municipal governments to impose conflicting and burdensome mandates on private-sector businesses and to bar private workers’ access to their retirement accounts. … Places like New York City shouldn’t just get a pass on investing potentially billions of dollars in private worker retirement assets without regard to federal rules requiring prudent investment practices—rules designed to protect retirement nest eggs of hard-working Americans.” (Sen. Hatch, Press Release, 3/29/2017)

“The Senate has moved to kill Obama-era retirement rules governing so-called auto-IRAs for states and cities… The resolutions introduced by Sen. Hatch, S.J. Res. 32 and S.J. Res. 33, seek to overturn the state and city rules, respectively.” (“Senate Moves To Kill DOL's State, City Auto-IRA Rules,” Investment News, 3/6/2017)

  • “The Senate nixed an Obama-era regulation Wednesday that made it easier for states to create retirement plans for some workers. Senators voted 50-49 on the House-passed resolution, rolling back a rule meant to encourage states to create retirement plans for private-sector workers who do not have access to an employer-based retirement plan. … The Obama-era rule, implemented in October 2016, would exempt the state-created plans from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, a law that outlines rules for workplace savings.” (“Senate Nixes Obama-Era Retirement Rule,” The Hill, 5/3/2017)


FOURTEEN: Overturned A Rule That ‘Forced States To Provide Family Planning Grants Under Title X To Planned Parenthood’

SEN. JONI ERNST (R-IA): “I’m grateful to have … ensure[d] that states are not forced to provide entities like Planned Parenthood - the nation’s single largest provider of abortions - with federal Title X dollars. States are closer to, and more familiar with, their health care providers and patients, and therefore, should be able to make their own decisions about the best eligible Title X providers – whether those are hospitals, community health centers, or other types of providers.” (Sen. Ernst, Press Release, 4/13/2017)

“President Donald Trump signed a resolution Thursday that overturns former President Barack Obama’s rule that forced states to provide family planning grants under Title X to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.” (“Trump Signs Resolution Overturning Obama Planned Parenthood State Funding Mandate,” Breitbart, 4/13/2017)


FIFTEEN: Overturning A Rule That Could Have Meant Higher Credit Card Rates And ‘A Bonanza For Trial Lawyers’

SEN. MIKE CRAPO (R-ID), Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman: “[T]he entire purpose of this rule is to promote class action litigation and to stop arbitration resolution when there is a dispute…. The CFPB failed to demonstrate that consumers will fare better in light of its arbitration rule. In fact, they may be worse off.” (Sen. Crapo, Congressional Record, S. 6740-6742, 10/24/2017)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: “[A]ccording to a new Treasury analysis of the CFPB’s 2015 study, the rule would hurt consumers and the economy. Consider: Only 13% of class actions that the CFPB studied resulted in a recovery for members. In the average case, plaintiffs received $32 while attorneys hauled in more than $1 million. The average arbitration award was $5,389. Businesses typically also covered all arbitration costs for consumers.  One reason the typical payout in class actions was so meager is that payments to members wasn’t automatic in 60% of settlements. Members usually had to file claims to obtain awards, and only in about 4% of cases did they do so. The primary beneficiaries of the rule are attorneys who reeled in 31% of consumer payouts.” (Editorial, “Richard Cordray’s Bad Numbers,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/22/2017)



Related Issues: Congressional Review Act, Regulations