Republicans in the U.S. Senate passed a measure to eliminate an Obama administration rule that would require prospective federal contractors to report violations of more than a dozen U.S. labor and employment laws.
On a 49-48 vote, the Senate endorsed a joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the contractor disclosure rule. The U.S. House of Representatives approved it last month, so all that is left to kill the regulation is President Donald Trump’s signature on the resolution.
The resolution targeting the contractor regulation, dubbed the “blacklisting rule” by critics, is a part of a larger Republican effort to use the CRA to rollback a swath of federal regulations finalized in the last seven months of the Obama administration.
Trump has signed three CRA resolutions thus far, which eliminated an environmental rule for streams and wetlands, a measure enhancing background checks for mentally ill gun purchasers and a requirement that oil, gas and mining companies report payments to foreign governments. Republican lawmakers have introduced measures targeting more than 30 rules.
The CRA is an efficient method to eliminate recently passed rules, as it is much faster than going through the full regulatory process and cannot be filibustered in the Senate. A CRA resolution also bars agencies from issuing “substantially similar” regulations in the future.
The Senate voted on Monday to eliminate the Obama administration’s regulation issued last year calling for companies bidding on federal contracts valued at more than $500,000 to disclose violations of 14 U.S. labor and employment laws and their state equivalents, including those governing wage and hour, collective bargaining, discrimination, and safety and health.
Associated Builders and Contractors and other trade groups’ sued to stop the contractor rule and a federal judge in Texas in October blocked most of it from taking effect. The U.S. Labor Department is appealing that ruling at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but the legal challenge will be unnecessary once Trump signs the CRA resolution as expected.
(Reporting by Robert Iafolla; editing by Grant McCool)
Here are 3 winners and 3 losers from the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined the other leading Democratic presidential primary candidates Wednesday night in the fieriest evening of the race so far.
His presence on the stage drew fire from the other candidates, but it also seemed to change the overall tone of the debate, with more attacks, counter-attacks, and passion than was generally seen earlier in the campaign.
Here’s a (necessarily subjective!) list of the winners and losers from the fray:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — Warren hit her stride right as the debate started by attacking Bloomberg for his record on the mistreatment of women, racist policies, and his tax returns. She repeatedly came back to skewer the former mayor, making herself the biggest and most notable presence in the debate. But importantly, she also continuously brought the discussion back to the issues she cares about — like expanding health care, environmental justice, and consumer protection — while getting in digs at the other candidates on the stage.
Michael Bloomberg ‘lost everything’ in Las Vegas: MSNBC analyst
Senior editor for "The Root," Jason Johnson, concluded that the biggest loser of the Democratic debate in Las Vegas Wednesday was Michael Bloomberg, but not merely because of his debate performance.
"The big new name was going to be Michael Bloomberg," he said. "This was probably the most expensive night in Vegas I've ever seen. He lost everything. This guy has spent $320 million. He had the opportunity to stand on stage, and appear to be an equal, and he looked bored. He looked disenchanted. He stumbled over obvious questions that anybody would have anticipated about sexual harassment and stop and frisk. I thought it was a bad night for him."
Pro-immigration protesters interrupt Joe Biden’s closing statement at debate
Former Vice President Joe Biden's closing statement was interrupted by protesters at Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate.
As Biden began his remarks, demonstrators began shouting about the Obama administration's record on deportations.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 20, 2020