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Key Republican asks businesses which rules to change

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The incoming Republican chairman of the House oversight committee is seeking counsel from business groups about what federal regulations Congress should relax.

Rep. Darrell Issa of California has sent letters to 150 companies, trade organizations and research groups asking them what rules they believe are stifling innovation and job growth, the New York Times reported.

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As the head of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Issa will wield considerable influence over the nature and application of federal regulations over industry activity.

Politico reported that Issa reached out to, among others, the oil industry, drug manufacturers, health care providers and telecommunications companies.

“A lot of people have felt shut out of the process the last few years, and they have welcomed the opportunity to give input,” Issa spokesman Kurt Bardella told the Times.

The move was derided by Democrats, who characterized Issa and Republicans as pawns of special interests.

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It “[l]eav[es] no doubt who is in charge of the Republican agenda,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement. “This is even more evidence that House Republicans are in the business of protecting corporate special interests instead of creating middle income jobs.”

Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) defended Issa, telling reporters Tuesday that the letter was part of a larger Republican agenda to help businesses grow and “stop the job-killing regulations.”

The move clarifies key divisions in governing philosophies between Republicans and Democrats —  the former believe fewer regulations boost business and economic growth while the latter value the necessity of rules to protect consumers and in some cases the environment.

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Events of recent years, such as the financial meltdown of 2008 and last year’s Gulf oil spill, have raised important questions about the necessity of regulations to ensure accountability and good practices in the business community.


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Iran accuses foreign forces of raising Gulf ‘insecurity’ — but doesn’t mention Trump by name

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President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday denounced the presence of foreign forces in the Gulf and said Iran will present a peace plan, after its arch-foe Washington ordered reinforcements to the tense region.

"Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region," Rouhani said before a military parade commemorating the Iran-Iraq war.

Rouhani also said Iran would present a peace plan to the United Nations within days.

"In this sensitive and important historical moment, we announce to our neighbours that we extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to them," he said.

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2020 Election

Trump holds mass rally with Indian Prime Minister that was more like a campaign event than official one

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US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday declared themselves united in a relentless fight against "terrorism," vowing a close, personal alliance in front of tens of thousands of Indian-Americans.

The two leaders, like-minded nationalists fond of fiery rallies and skeptical of traditional media, heaped praise on each other in an unusual joint appearance inside a football stadium in Houston.

To the bhangra beats of four drummers in saffron turbans, Trump in his dark suit and Modi in a yellow kurta and vest made a grand entrance with arms clenched together to ecstatic cheers from a crowd estimated by organizers at 50,000.

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Here’s how the law governing whistleblowers applies to the Trump Ukraine complaint

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This week it was revealed that President Donald Trump did something so concerning that an intelligence staffer felt the need to report the incident and file for whistleblower protections.

Trump asked Ukraine to look into scandals about former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter. For nearly a year, Trump's former attorney Rudy Giuliani was admittedly working to persuade officials in Ukraine to find "dirt" on the Bidens that they could use in the election. While the accusations against the younger Biden have been disproven, it's suspected, but not confirmed, that this was the incident detailed in the complaint.

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