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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The bill would bring “our outdated federal regulatory process into the 21st Century by requiring agencies to use the best scientific and economic data available, strengthening checks and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.

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

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.

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

“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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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Bill Maher dances on David Koch’s grave: ‘I’m glad he’s dead and I hope the end was painful’

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HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher celebrated the death of right-wing billionaire David Koch, who died of prostate cancer.

"I guess I'm going to have to reevaluate my low opinion of prostate cancer," Maher said.

"Condolences poured in from all the politicians he owned and mourners are being asked, in lieu of flowers, to just leave their car engine running," he said.

"I know these seem like harsh words and harsh jokes, and I'm sure I will be condemned for them on Fox News, which will portray Mr. Koch as a principled libertarian who believed in the free market," Maher said. "He and his brother have done more than anybody to fund climate science deniers -- for decades."

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HBO’s Bill Maher slams Trump’s White House lawn press conferences: ‘Brought to you by Adderall’

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HBO's "Real Time" host Bill Maher ripped Donald Trump on Friday.

"I've had so many sh*tty weeks, but this was a sh*tty week, I'm telling you," Maher said.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) called for a boycott of Maher's show this week.

"The one bright spot I could find, Trump finally found some white people to fight with. Denmark. He's fighting with Denmark, because, you know this, he's been wanting to buy Greenland

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Rachel Maddow reveals 9 major reasons so many Democrats are running against Trump in 2020

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The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC listed nine major reasons Democrats are running to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

"As we close in on the third round of Democratic presidential primary debates, the acute angle of the funnel that the candidates are going through right now is starting to pinch a little bit," Maddow noted.

"I think it’s fair to say that the Democratic Party knew that a lot of people were going to get into this presidential primary to try to earn the right to challenge this incumbent president. Right? It’s not rocket science to figure that out," she continued. "It’s nothing personal about the president."

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