Trump Receives Right-Wing Wish List to Gut Rules on Climate, Nutrition, Wages
A wish list from the conservative House Freedom Caucus delivered to President-elect Donald Trump recommends dismantling a whopping 232 Obama administration rules and regulations that govern everything from school lunches and ceiling fans to net neutrality and the minimum wage for federal contract workers.
It would overturn restrictions on oil exploration and coal extraction on federally owned land, repeal the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate, and end executive actions protecting undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. It would "cancel U.S. commitments to the Paris Agreement," move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and ax recent guidelines from the Office of Civil Rights related to transgender and gender-nonconforming students.
It also proposes eliminating the Office of Global Climate Change; the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights; and the Special Envoy for Climate Change, all within the State Department—which is set to be headed by ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.
The 21-page list, posted Wednesday by caucus chair and Trump supporter Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), seeks to "undo Obama's harmful regulatory regime," according to a tweet from the caucus. This is in keeping with Trump's campaign promises.
Meadows told CNN about the "working document":
"[N]utrition is a key target," Politico writes, noting that "the FDA's update to the Nutrition Facts panel and updated nutrition standards for school meals, both priorities championed by first lady Michelle Obama," are identified for elimination.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports, caucus members "advise several measures for allowing lower wages, including waiving the Davis-Bacon Act, ending the Obama administration's overtime rule (currently tied up in court), and ending tougher classification of contractors in part because it 'disproportionately hurts independent contractors like Uber and Lyft.' Republicans also suggest ending paid sick leave for federal contractors."
And according to Bloomberg, "a spate of regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, ranging from pollution standards for power plants to ozone reduction requirements," are also up for gutting.
A slew of Energy Department rules requiring household products use less electricity would be voided, including new standards for ceiling fans that have been opposed by companies such as Lowe's Cos. Inc. and Home Depot Inc., which have expressed concerns the requirements could more than double the price of some fans.
The once mundane efficiency requirements have come to be seen by the Tea Party and others as a symbol of government overreach and intrusion. Appliance makers Whirlpool Corp., General Electric Co., and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. could see their business plans affected.
Attempts to follow through on the caucus's recommendations are likely to be met with fierce resistance on Capitol Hill. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) told Bloomberg in an email: "Rolling back these regulations would be a major mistake by President-elect Trump and House Republicans. From leveling the playing field and protecting the most vulnerable Americans, to giving our children an opportunity to grow up healthy and strong, these regulations are aimed at helping working families. I will do everything that I can to fight attempts to undo our work."