Repealing Regulations That ‘Kill Jobs, Raise Prices, Depress Wages, And Lower Opportunities’

The Congressional Review Act Has Already Been Used ‘11 Times To Strike Down Obama-Era’ Midnight Regulations

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Regulations aren’t issued in a vacuum; they have real economic consequences that can harm the middle class. They can kill jobs, raise prices, depress wages, and lower opportunities. And yet, the Obama Administration went on a regulatory rampage at a time when we should’ve been looking to do just the opposite. … Fortunately, we now have the opportunity to provide relief from some of these costly, duplicative rules using the tools provided by the Congressional Review Act, or CRA.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 3/6/2017)

‘Senate Takes An Axe To Obama’s Regulations,’ The ‘Most Ambitious Regulatory Rollback Since Reagan’

“The Congressional Review Act, a 21-year-old law that created a fast track for wiping out ‘midnight rules’ finalized late in a presidential administration, had only been used once before this year. But Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress have already deployed it 11 times to strike down Obama-era regulations.” (“Trump’s Secret Weapon Against Obama’s Legacy,” Politico, 4/10/2017)

“The White House estimates it will save $10 billion over 20 years by having rescinded 11 Obama-era regulations…” (“White House Tallies $10 Billion Saved by Repeal of Regulations,” Bloomberg, 4/5/2017)

“GOP chugs along on deregulation campaign … as the Senate takes an axe to Obama’s regulations …” (“GOP Chugs Along On Deregulation Campaign,” Politico, 3/8/2017)

ONE: ‘President … Signed Legislation Ending A Key Obama Administration Coal Mining Rule’

“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)

“Senators voted 54-45 Thursday to kill an Obama administration coal mining rule, giving President Trump his first chance to formally take off the books an environmental rule from the previous administration. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) challenge passed by the Senate undoes the Interior Department’s … regulation…” (“Senate Votes To Block Obama Coal Rule,” The Hill, 2/2/17)

President Obama’s ‘Punitive 11th-Hour Regulation On Coal,’ Would Have Put ‘Between 112,757 And 280,809’ Total Jobs At Risk

“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’

“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)

“The Senate is taking a hammer to a pair of Obama-era education rules…. Republicans are using the Congressional Review Act to nix the Obama regulations … The House has already voted to eliminate both of the education regulations, meaning the bills will now head to the desk of President Trump, who is expected to sign them.” (“Senate GOP Votes To Nix Obama-Era Education Rules,” The Hill, 3/09/2017)

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)

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’

“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)

Agency’s own estimates indicate this rule would affect more than 24,000 contractors, add over 2 million hours in new annual paperwork burdens, and impose $454 million in first year implementation costs and $260 million in subsequent years.

  • FEDERAL REGISTER: “Table 3 – Summary of … estimated cost to the public of reporting burden: Number of respondents: 24,183 … Total hours: 2,166,815.” (81 Fed. Reg. 58637, Table 3)
  • FEDERAL REGISTER: “Table 10a – Summary of Total Costs to the Public: … Total Initial Public Costs: $454,644,083; Table 10b – Summary of Total Costs to the Public: … Total Annual Subsequent Public Costs: $260,041,262.” (81 Fed. Reg. 58637, Table 10)

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)

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

“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)

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)

“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’

“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)

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai & Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen: “The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission are committed to protecting the online privacy of American consumers.  We believe that the best way to do that is through a comprehensive and consistent framework.  After all, Americans care about the overall privacy of their information when they use the Internet, and they shouldn’t have to be lawyers or engineers to figure out if their information is protected differently depending on which part of the Internet holds it. That’s why we disagreed with the FCC’s unilateral decision in 2015 to strip the FTC of its authority over broadband providers’ privacy and data security practices, removing an effective cop from the beat. The FTC has a long track record of protecting consumers’ privacy and security throughout the Internet ecosystem.  It did not serve consumers’ interests to abandon this longstanding, bipartisan, successful approach.” (FCC & FTC Press Release, 3/1/2017)

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)

  • “NCD submitted comments to SSA on the proposed rule on June 30th, 2016. In our comments, we cautioned against implementation of the proposed rule because: [t]here is, simply put, no nexus between the inability to manage money and the ability to safely and responsibly own, possess or use a firearm. This arbitrary linkage not only unnecessarily and unreasonably deprives individuals with disabilities of a constitutional right, it increases the stigma for those who, due to their disabilities, may need a representative payee[.]” (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’

“…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)

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)

“Senate sends SEC disclosure rule to the dust bin: The Senate Friday gave its thumbs up to a resolution to nullify a SEC rule… It was the second time this week lawmakers sent President Donald Trump a Congressional Review Act resolution undoing an Obama administration regulation. He is expected to sign it.” (“Senate Sends SEC Disclosure Rule To The Dust Bin,” Politico, 2/3/17)

Rule Could Have Cost American Businesses Up To $590 Million Annually

SEC: “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’

“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. OSHA requires all construction firms to maintain a detailed log of jobsite injuries and illnesses over a five year span. However, due to a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, OSHA was only permitted to cite employers for failing to record work-related injuries and illnesses within the six-month statute of limitations set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The Volks rule is viewed as the Department of Labor’s response to that decision. The rule changed the applicable time limit, allowing OSHA to issue citations to employers during the entire five-year records retention period. According to OSHA, the rule was meant to clarify the ongoing duty to make and maintain accurate records of injuries or illnesses during the retention period. 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)

“Senators voted 50-48 to nix the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule extending the amount of time a company can be penalized for failing to report workplace injuries and illnesses to five years. Republicans are using the Congressional Review Act to take a hammer to rules instituted under the Obama White House.” (“Senate Nixes Obama-Era Workplace Safety Rule,” The Hill, 3/22/2017)

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

“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)

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)

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

“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)

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)


Related Issues: Economy, Coal, FCC, First Amendment, Jobs, Middle Class, Energy, Labor, Education, Regulations, Congressional Review Act