A long shot

Today, the House Freedom Caucus (think: traditional right-wing) released a list of 228 rules and regulations that it recommends the new administration repeal when it assumes office.

This list may seem like a 20-page snooze-fest, but hidden in this list of mundane regulations is a serious message to government: stay in your lane.

But what they refer to as “bureaucratic red tape” others might think of as consumer, environmental, and worker safeguards.

To spare you the read, I’ve gone ahead and picked out some of the big ones.

On the environment:

The list included 26 regulations on the EPA undoing anything having to do with pollution standards, ozone reductions, and standards imposed on the energy industry.

Something they’ve been talking about for a long time that made the cut: Cancelling U.S. commitments to the Paris climate accords.

On immigration:

The list targets a wide array of immigration rules including DACA. Currently, Obama has used his “prosecutorial discretion” in advising the Department of Homeland Security to focus their immigration resources on undocumented immigrants that have committed crimes. This list targets those rules, and gives local and federal law enforcement agents greater leeway in deciding which immigrants to target for deportation. This would open the doors to more aggressive immigration enforcement.

The list also includes rules on legal immigration, such as those regarding high-skilled immigrants and foreign STEM students.

Others worth noting:

The list recommends Trump scrap a guidance protecting transgender people from discrimination in public schools.

It targets lots of rules aimed at improving school nutrition and transparency in the food industry.

The list calls to undo the FCC’s rule on net neutrality, a rule that keeps internet access open and fair because it’s…too complicated?

The list also includes regulations aimed at increasing regulation of the financial industry  while also targeting those that strengthen the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This means allowing banks to engage in risky, and often predatory, lending practices without offering consumers any official protections.

One last one: the list recommends overturning the rule requiring insurers to cover women’s preventative health services.

The good news: 

If you’re worried about Trump overturning these rules with one signature, you’re half right. Some of these rules were executive orders that don’t stand a chance, but some of them have to undergo the same, time-consuming rule-making process that all the other rules have to go through. Who knew painful legislative procedure could offer such comfort?!

There’s a little-known procedural tool available to Congress called the Congressional Review Act. Basically, if the Senate objects to a rule issued by the President, the CRA offers them an expedited procedure to retroactively reject rules and prohibit agencies from issuing a new rule that accomplishes the same thing in the future.

The reason you’ve never heard of this before is because it requires a political perfect storm and it’s only been done once before. You need one party (that opposes government regulation) to control the Executive and both chambers of Congress, and you need the outgoing administration to be of the opposite party.

It’s a long shot, but it’s definitely an opportunity for action!

If any of the regulations above (or any others I haven’t mentioned) are important to you, let your representative know! How he or she votes will be public record and they should know that we’ll be watching.

If you’re interested in learning more, here’s a great article with some more background, and here’s the full list of rules and regulations from Congressman Meadows’ website.

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