Week ahead: GOP lines up Obama regs for repeal

Greg Nash

Congressional Republicans will begin the process of rolling back top Obama-era regulations on Monday.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has signaled out five controversial rules Republicans plan to disapprove of under the Congressional Review Act. The law gives lawmakers 60 legislative days to overturn those rules with a simple majority.

The House Rules Committee will vote Monday on a measure repealing Interior Department’s stream protection rule. The rule targets coal mining industry practices to protect waterways. Also on the committee’s docket are a disclosure rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission, and a Social Security Administration (SSA) rule dealing with gun ownership. 

{mosads}On Tuesday, the Rules Committee will vote on measures targeting two lesser known rules: the Bureau of Land Management’s waste prevention requirements, and acquisition regulations for the Defense Department and NASA.

The Rules Committees work will set up floor votes on repealing these measures later in the coming week.

McCarthy also discussed the idea of repealing the Labor Department’s blacklisting rule and Interior Department’s methane emissions rule. The blacklisting rule require contractors that want to do business with the government to disclose past labor law violations. But the law has seen fierce pushback from business groups who challenged it in court, leading a federal judge to block it from taking effect last October.

Republicans do not need support from Democrats to pass the disapproval measures.

“With President Trump’s signature, every one of these regulations will be overturned,” McCarthy wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Wednesday.

Congress voted to strike down four regulations using the Congressional Review Act in its last session, but then-President Obama vetoed each of those measures.

Regulatory reform, however, is a cornerstone of President Trump’s economic policy, and Republicans are ready to move again.

Congress will also be busy moving ahead with a number of Trump’s Cabinet nominees in the week ahead. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet on Tuesday to vote on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will meet the same day to consider the nomination of Besty DeVos to be the Secretary of Education. Liberal groups have trained their fire on DeVos, jamming the phone lines of Republican offices to protest her nomination.



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