Feinstein presses DOJ nominee to defend regulatory order

Feinstein presses DOJ nominee to defend regulatory order
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Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTrump administration urges Congress to reauthorize NSA surveillance program The Hill's Morning Report - More talk on guns; many questions on Epstein's death Juan Williams: We need a backlash against Big Tech MORE (D-Calif.) pushed the associate attorney general nominee to defend President Trump’s executive order requiring agencies to eliminate two rules for every new rule issued.

Feinstein noted there are rules required by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that have yet to be finalized or fully implemented.

“What is the legal justification for arbitrarily failing to issue a regulation called for under law simply because there aren’t two regulations on the book to eliminate?” she asked Rachel Brand during Tuesday’s confirmation hearing for the associate attorney general nominee and deputy attorney general nominee Rod Rosenstein.

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As The District Sentinel first reported, Brand was not prepared to defend Trump’s order.

“I haven’t studied it, but I think that any regulatory action taken by any agency of the government has to comply with the requirements of Administrative Procedures Act, which requires reasoned decisionmaking,” she told Feinstein.

“That statute remains in place, but as to the interplay between the APA and the executive order, those decisions would fall in the first instance to the regulatory agencies themselves,” she said, adding that she “would have to study it further."

The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Communications Workers of America and Public Citizen filed a lawsuit against the administration after it released the so-called "one in, two out" order in January, claiming it constitutes an executive overreach.

Brand is a former DOJ official. She served as assistant attorney general for legal policy at the Department of Justice, a position George W. Bush nominated her for.