Congressional Republicans kill Obama-era regulations
In the most notable legislative work so far of the Trump administration, Republicans in Congress since Feb. 1 have approved measures to eliminate 13 regulations that were finalized in the waning months of Democratic President Barack Obama’s eight years in office.
President Donald Trump so far has signed 11 of them into law. The measures were written under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which operates under strict time limits and bars agencies from writing substantially similar rules in the future.
The last day for submitting new CRA resolutions was Friday. Lawmakers have until mid-May to vote on pending CRA resolutions.
The following are rules overturned by CRA measures:
Broadband privacy – A Federal Communications Commission rule barring Internet service providers and telecommunications carriers from selling customers’ personal information unless the customers allowed it. Eliminated by Trump’s signature April 3.
Alaska wildlife – A rule intended to clarify how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service balanced caring for the environment on refuges and controlling predators. Eliminated by Trump’s signature April 3..
Workplace injury records – A rule requiring employers to keep records of employees’ work-related injuries and illness, with no time limit. Eliminated by Trump’s signature April 3.
Drug testing unemployment applicants – A rule allowing states to deny unemployment benefits to people who tested positive for drug use if they had lost a job over substance abuse or if they can only work in occupations with regular drug testing. Eliminated by Trump’s signature March 31.
Federal contracting – Called the “blacklisting rule” by Republicans, this regulation blocked federal contracts from being granted to companies that did not disclose their employment of women and minorities. Eliminated by Trump’s signature March 27.
Land management – A U.S. Bureau of Land Management update to regulations enacted 30 years ago to make planning more efficient and open to the public. Eliminated by Trump’s signature March 27.
School accountability – A rule meant to hold U.S. states more accountable for school performance. Instead of using statewide tests, the rule required states to use multiple indicators of school quality or student success. Eliminated by Trump’s signature March 27.
Teacher preparation – A rule setting criteria for teacher preparation programs and withholding federal grants from programs that fall short. Eliminated by Trump’s signature March 27.
Guns and mentally ill – Republicans said this rule deprived the mentally ill of their gun rights. It required expanded background checks for gun purchasers receiving Social Security benefits for a mental impairment. Eliminated by Trump’s signature Feb. 28.
Stream protection – The Interior Department spent years crafting this rule to limit waste running into streams from mountaintop mining removal. Eliminated by Trump’s signature Feb. 16.
Miner payments – A part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law that required energy companies to disclose taxes, royalties and other payments to foreign countries as a way to root out corruption. Eliminated by Trump’s signature Feb. 14.
Here are rules targeted by CRA measures that have been approved by Congress and are awaiting Trump’s signature:
Contraception funding – A rule intended to keep federal grants flowing to clinics that provide contraception and other services in states that want to block the funding.
Retirement plans – An exemption from federal pension protection laws for plans that cities run for people who do not have retirement savings programs at work.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Grant McCool)