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Republicans take next step in US deregulation with Senate bill

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Republican lawmakers launched the next round in their fight against federal regulation on Wednesday, helped by at least one Democrat, as the U.S. Senate began work on legislation to change nearly every step agencies take in creating and applying new rules.

Republicans have said they deem lightening federal regulation, which they consider costly and burdensome, as much a priority as overhauling healthcare and rewriting the tax code.

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For most of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days, the Republican-led Congress attacked regulation by passing resolutions to wipe some of former Democratic President Barack Obama’s rules off the books under the Congressional Review Act. Trump also ordered agencies to scrap two existing rules every time they enact a new one.

Just before Trump’s January inauguration, the House of Representatives passed the “Regulatory Accountability Act,” combining a half dozen bills to radically change government regulation.

On Wednesday, Senator Rob Portman, a Ohio Republican, and Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat, introduced a version of the act for that chamber. If it passes, the bill will be combined with the House version for Trump to sign into law.

The bill would bring “our outdated federal regulatory process into the 21st Century by requiring agencies to use the best scientific and economic data available, strengthening checks and balances, and giving the public a voice in the process,” Portman said in a statement.

It requires stricter cost-benefit analysis, use of the “best available science” to craft rules, and reviews of regulations, according to a summary.

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The bill diverges from the House version on what is known as the “Chevron Deference,” based on a Supreme Court ruling that courts should defer to agencies’ interpretations of statutes governing their rulemaking.

The House legislation eliminates the Chevron Deference, while the Senate one creates a judicial review process where courts can decide if agencies comply with the law and then remand non-compliant rules to agencies. Courts would also review factual determinations used in drafting rules costing more than $1 billion annually.

Environmental and labor groups said the Senate bill could block needed new regulations and weaken existing ones.

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“This bill would tilt the scales in favor of polluters at the public’s expense,” said Scott Slesinger, legislative director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It would make it virtually impossible to safeguard the public from dirty air, unsafe drinking water and other health threats.”

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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White House turmoil as Trump aides Mnuchin and Navarro get in ‘knockdown, drag-out’ yelling match: report

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According to a report from the Washington Post, a discussion in the Oval Office over social media platform TikTok collapsed into a shouting match between Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and trade advisor Peter Navarro while Donald Trump sat and watched.

One spectator described it as “knockdown, drag-out” brawl.

The Post reports Mnuchin was under the understanding that he had convinced Trump to allow a sale of TikTok to Microsoft, only to run into a roadblock put up by Navarro arguing for a total ban.

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2020 Election

WATCH: CNN uses video to bust Trump for lying and stealing credit for veterans program signed by Obama

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Reacting to Donald Trump's abrupt departure from his Saturday press conference after he was pressed by a CBS White House correspondent Paula Reid for lying and taking credit for a veterans bill signed into law by former President Barack Obama, CNN's Victor Blackwell shared clips of the former president announcing the signing in 2014 and Trump attempting to steal credit yesterday.

According to Blackwell, "One of President Trump's go-to lies is his role in passing Veterans Choice. You saw it at the end of the news conference when he walked away. Well that was when he was faced with a question why he said that he passed Choice and Accountability for the V.A."

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Nagasaki marks 75 years since atomic bombing

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The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Sunday commemorated the 75th anniversary of its destruction by a US atomic bomb, with its mayor and the head of the United Nations warning against a nuclear arms race.

Nagasaki was flattened in an atomic inferno three days after Hiroshima -- twin nuclear attacks that rang in the nuclear age and gave Japan the bleak distinction of being the only country to be struck by atomic weapons.

Survivors, their relatives and a handful of foreign dignitaries attended a remembrance ceremony in Nagasaki where they called for world peace.

Participants offered a silent prayer at 11:02 am (0202 GMT), the time the second and last nuclear weapon used in wartime was dropped over the city.

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