March 27, 2017
Trump’s Repeal of Regulatory Protections Using the CRA Is Corrupt Insider Dealing
Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen
Note: This afternoon, under authority granted by the Congressional Review Act (CRA), President Donald Trump will sign four resolutions repealing protections for workers, teachers and our environment. These include the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s land use planning rule and two rules from the U.S. Department of Education addressing teacher preparation standards and state accountability plans. And on Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives will target Federal Communications Commission’s broadband privacy protections.
President Trump continues to lard favors on corporate interests, in more of the corrupt inside-dealing he campaigned against. Trump and congressional Republicans may not be able to join together to roll back health insurance, but when it comes to rolling back protections for the American people from predatory corporations, they know how to work together.
Today, Trump will sign four more Congressional Review Act resolutions, undoing important protections for the American people adopted toward the end of the Obama administration. After today, he will have signed seven such resolutions into law, with several more still waiting his signature. Remarkably, this is the only legislation of consequence he has signed to date – a telling indication of his administration’s priorities.
Today, the president will undo worker safety and wage protections (vociferously opposed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) and a measure to improve public land use planning (attacked by the mining industry), adding to a toll that includes an anti-corruption rule (battled by Big Oil, including Rex Tillerson when he was Exxon Mobil CEO) and stream protection safeguards (opposed by coal companies).
There’s little doubt about what’s driving these efforts: corporate donors expect something in return for their investment in the political process. The corporate interests pushing CRA resolutions spend more than $1 billion a year on politics (PDF), and now they are getting their return on investment. It’s the American people who are paying the price.