Rus­sian-Amer­i­can lob­by­ist was at Trump Jr. meet­ing

Lodi News-Sentinel - - Sports - By Jen­nifer A. Dlouhy and Alan Levin

WASH­ING­TON — It typ­i­cally takes years for pres­i­dents to kill fed­eral reg­u­la­tions they dis­like, but Don­ald Trump has found a short­cut: He’s just putting them on long-term hold.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has stalled more than two dozen Oba­maera rules, a le­gally ques­tion­able tac­tic that side­steps the cum­ber­some rule­mak­ing process.

Pres­i­dents from both par­ties rou­tinely pause their pre­de­ces­sors’ rules, but Trump’s de­lays are last­ing longer and reach­ing fur­ther — with tar­gets in­clud­ing pro­tec­tions for stu­dent bor­row­ers, stan­dards for e-cig­a­rettes, and an ex­pan­sion of re­quire­ments that air­lines re­port lost lug­gage. In one in­stance, a fed­eral court found the ap­proach il­le­gal, pro­vid­ing fod­der for fu­ture chal­lenges.

“Obama did it to Bush. Bush did it to Clin­ton,” said Stu­art Shapiro, a Rut­gers Univer­sity pro­fes­sor who served as a White House reg­u­la­tory an­a­lyst un­der pres­i­dents Bill Clin­ton and Ge­orge W. Bush. “But the ex­tent of the reg­u­la­tions that we’re talk­ing about, and the po­lit­i­cal im­por­tance and the im­pact, is greater in the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

Fed­eral agen­cies have wide lat­i­tude to re­write and re­scind rules, but they must fol­low the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Pro­ce­dure Act, a 71-year-old law that sets out a process de­signed to pre­vent reg­u­la­tory whiplash. Agen­cies must first for­mally pro­pose re­vi­sions, jus­tify them and give the pub­lic a chance to weigh in. Rel­a­tively small tweaks, such as a de­lay, can ad­vance more quickly — but gen­er­ally still re­quire a for­mal no­tice and com­ment pe­riod.

Trump has moved ag­gres­sively to ful­fill his prom­ise to re­peal “jobkilling rules.” He is­sued an or­der re­quir­ing two rules be spiked for each one cre­ated and capped the cost of new reg­u­la­tions.

“We’re work­ing very hard to roll back the reg­u­la­tory bur­den so that coal min­ers, fac­tory work­ers, small busi­ness own­ers and so many oth­ers can grow their busi­nesses and thrive,” Trump said while sign­ing an ex­ec­u­tive or­der ad­dress­ing the is­sue in Fe­bru­ary.

Sup­port­ers of Trump’s ap­proach say the pres­i­dent is just do­ing what he promised by tak­ing on overzeal­ous reg­u­la­tions. The goal of try­ing to align gov­ern­ment with a pres­i­dent’s own phi­los­o­phy “is hardly un­com­mon,” said Dan Gold­beck, a re­search an­a­lyst spe­cial­iz­ing in reg­u­la­tions at the con­ser­va­tive-lean­ing Amer­i­can Ac­tion Fo­rum.

The ef­fort isn’t an at­tempted whole­sale un­do­ing of Obama-era rules, Gold­beck said. “I think the in­ten­tion is to dive back into them and see if they can tweak them — and not nec­es­sar­ily chop them en­tirely,” he said.

Trump’s EPA is fol­low­ing the law in en­sur­ing its “ac­tions are con­sis­tent with our core mis­sion and statu­tory au­thor­ity granted by Congress,” spokes­woman Amy Gra­ham said. “Where reg­u­la­tions may be un­jus­ti­fied or overly bur­den­some, we will con­sider all le­gally avail­able means to pro­vide reg­u­la­tory cer­tainty,” Gra­ham said.

In some cases, the ad­min­is­tra­tion is buy­ing time for pos­si­ble rule rewrites, as with an Agri­cul­ture De­part­ment reg­u­la­tion gov­ern­ing the treat­ment of or­gan­i­cally raised live­stock. The de­part­ment de­layed the mea­sure’s ef­fec­tive date by eight months and an­nounced it was launch­ing a for­mal ef­fort to re­write the reg­u­la­tion.


For­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama smiles on April 24 at the Lo­gan Cen­ter for the Arts on the Univer­sity of Chicago cam­pus.

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