Week ahead: GOP quickly laying groundwork for reg rollback

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President-elect Donald Trump and Republicans are quickly making plans to roll back a slew of Obama administration regulations early next year.

Trump has threatened to halt all regulatory activity as soon as he’s in the Oval Office. The president-elect’s plan includes a moratorium on new rules, as well as a vow to repeal recently published regulations that were pushed through in the final year of the Obama administration.

Trump’s plan has been met with enthusiasm from Republican lawmakers who are already laying the groundwork.


House Republicans are crafting a list of regulations for Trump to undo. The list already tops 200, with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) saying it was intended to help the new president “hit the ground running on day one.”

Topping the list are the Labor Department’s new overtime rules, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. rule, the Labor Department’s financial adviser rule and the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules.

Republicans are also pressuring agencies to halt their regulatory work in the waning days of the Obama administration.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) doubled down with a letter to the Labor Department, Food and Drug Administration, and EPA warning the agencies against finalizing controversial rules.

A letter right after the election from congressional Republicans, also urged the Federal Communications Commission not to move on any controversial items. The FCC responded by dropping many of those measures from its next meeting.

Republicans say they are worried about a flood of so-called “midnight regulations” before Obama leaves office.

A review of the administration’s final regulatory agenda by the business friendly American Action Forum found the government plans to issue more than $44 billion in last-minute regs.

Despite Republican warnings, federal agencies under Obama are aggressively ramping up regulatory activity to ensure their most important rules are finalized.

And the administration is fighting on all fronts to push forward its reg agenda. On Thursday, government lawyers appealed a federal judge’s decision to block the overtime rule from taking effect.

Lawmakers have a busy week ahead on the regulatory front.

On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing to discuss the Agriculture Department’s catfish inspection program. Southern lawmakers have been fighting a resolution to shift the responsibility for inspections back to the Food and Drug Administration. 

Elsewhere on the Hill, also on Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will hold a hearing to look at the competitive impact of AT&T proposed purchase of Time Warner.

On Thursday, The Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises will hold a hearing to discuss the impact regulations have on short-term financing. 



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