Senate in Focus

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

 

Cutting Through Red Tape Using The Congressional Review Act

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.”

In what The Washington Post calls the “most ambitious regulatory rollback since Reagan,” Congress has used the Congressional Review Act fifteen times to repeal Obama-era midnight regulations. These initiatives have brought real regulatory reform to the American economy and our citizens.  For example, two of these CRA resolutions have saved $1.2 billion each; others have cut red-tape reducing paperwork requirements that divert the attention of employers from their core economic missions; and additional CRAs have preserved state and local input into programs that impact their citizens. The fifteen CRA resolutions:

Eliminated a key Obama Administration anti-coal mining rule: A Dept. of Interior rule The Wall Street Journal called “a power grab aimed at giving federal regulators more authority to make coal too expensive for anyone to mine or use,” which put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk for a negligible environmental benefit.

  • SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Throughout my career in the Senate, I’ve worked hard to defend coal communities and the jobs that they, and so many across the country, depend upon. These men and women have dedicated their lives to providing an affordable and reliable power source for our homes, businesses, and communities. They deserve our respect and our support.”

Revoked a land management power grab: A Bureau of Land Management rule that empowered Washington at the expense of Western states.

  • SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): “The Obama administration’s Planning 2.0 rule makes sweeping changes to how [Bureau of Land Management] 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.”

Leveling the playing field online: Revoking an FCC rule that created inconsistent rules for the protection of consumer data online.

  • SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ): “The FCC's midnight regulation does nothing to protect consumer privacy.  It is unnecessary, confusing and adds yet another innovation-stifling regulation to the internet.”

Protected the competitiveness of American businesses. Repealing a Dodd-Frank SEC rule that would have required oil and mining companies to disclose proprietary information that foreign governments that could have cost American businesses up to $590 million annually and hurt job growth.

  • 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.”

Empowered businesses over bureaucrats: Repealing an OSHA rule to allow companies to focus on employee safety instead of paperwork.

Annulled a pair of Dept. of Education rules called “unusually aggressive and far-reaching” by The New York Times which were written to subvert a bipartisan act of Congress.

  • 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.”

Overturned a rule that eliminated long-term federal protections for the retirement savings of private-sector workers: The Dept. of Labor rule would have privileged government retirement plans over private sector retirement plans.

Overturning a Dept. of Labor rule that would have imposed a one-sized-fits-all mandate and denied states flexibility in determining whether to test unemployment recipients for abusing illegal drugs.

  • 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...”

Protected Alaska hunting and fishing traditions: Overturning a Dept. of the Interior rule restricting Alaska's ability to manage wildlife on federal lands.

  • SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): “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.”

Protected the rights of the disabled: Eliminating a Social Security Administration rule which unreasonably deprived individuals with disabilities of their constitutional right to bear arms.

  • NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY: ‘[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.”

Stopped a mandate that prevented states from denying taxpayer funds for abortion providers: Nullifying a rule issued by the Dept. of Health and Human Services that blocked states from restricting Title X family planning funds to abortion providers.

Repealed the Obama Administration’s blacklisting rule: Repealing rules that would have required companies to report allegations of labor law violations as if they were actual violations while bidding for federal contracts.

  • ASSOCIATED BUILDERS & CONTRACTORS: “The Obama administration’s ‘blacklisting’ rule… 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.”

Overturned an Obama-era rule that could have meant higher credit card rates: A CFPB arbitration rule would have resulted in a bonanza for trial lawyers at the expense of consumers.

  • SEN. MIKE CRAPO (R-ID): “[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.”

Overturned a lawless Obama-era rule that restricted consumers’ choices for auto loans: Rolled back guidance issued by the CFPB that the agency improperly used to avoid the proper regulatory process and attempted to regulate an industry it was expressly prohibited from regulating, which in the end hurt local dealerships and restricted consumer choices.

  • 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 … They hit the victim with a $100 million fine without the CFPB knowing that any individual was actually unfairly treated …”

Senate in Focus