From cat­fish to kom­bucha: Con­ser­va­tives tar­get rules

House Free­dom Cau­cus has a wish list of 228 to scrap in first 100 days.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Erik Was­son and Ari Nat­ter

House con­ser­va­tives have a mes­sage for Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump: Use your first 100 days to scrap reg­u­la­tions — from cat­fish to ceil­ing fans to the Ex­port-Im­port Bank.

The House Free­dom Cau­cus wish list, sent by chair­man Mark Mead­ows to Trump’s tran­si­tion team, in­cludes 228 fed­eral reg­u­la­tions to ex­am­ine or re­voke. It’s de­signed to hold Trump to his cam­paign prom­ise to use his pres­i­den­tial pen to loosen rules on busi­nesses. It’s also cer­tain to trig­ger par­ti­san fights in Con­gress.

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell is also on board. “The pres­i­den­t­elect has made it clear he’s go­ing to move on as many reg­u­la­tory changes as he can make as soon as he takes of­fice,” McCon­nell said this week.

High on the Free­dom Cau­cus’ agenda are end­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ex­ec­u­tive ac­tions pro­tect­ing un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants who ar­rived as chil­dren and end­ing the Ex­port-Im­port Bank. The list also calls for un­do­ing the 1905 law that cre­ated the Over­seas Pri­vate In­vest­ment Corp.

The list also tar­gets First Lady Michelle Obama’s ini­tia­tive against child­hood obesity, rules re­quir­ing for-profit col­leges to teach em­ploy­able skills, reg­u­la­tions in­tended to make ceil­ing fans and wash­ing ma­chines more en­ergy-ef­fi­cient. Net neu­tral­ity rules that ben­e­fit in­ter­net con­tent providers over broad­band providers also make the list.

Fidu­ciary rules

The cau­cus also in­cluded South­ern law­maker-au­thored pro­tec­tions for the do­mes­tic cat­fish grow­ers and al­co­hol trans­port reg­u­la­tions that hit the kom­bucha tea in­dus­try. It wants the fed­eral rule bar­ring the trans­port of drinks with more than 0.5 per­cent al­co­hol to be raised, “in or­der to sup­port the grow­ing kom­bucha in­dus­try.”

For Wall Street, the group is tar­get­ing the new fidu­ciary rule for ad­vis­ers on re­tire­ment plans.

The cau­cus wants paid sick leave and min­i­mumwage in­creases for fed­eral con­trac­tors to be re­versed, along with Obama’s in­crease in the thresh­old for over­time pay na­tion­wide.

The group would weaken Na­tional School Lunch Pro­gram stan­dards that re­quire low salt, whole grains and fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles.

EPA, En­ergy

The list in­cluded for elim­i­na­tion a spate of reg­u­la­tions from the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency, rang­ing from pol­lu­tion stan­dards for power plants to ozone re­duc­tion re­quire­ments es­ti­mated to cost bil­lions of dol­lars a year.

The list pro­posed the elim­i­na­tion of the pro­gram that re­quires re­fin­ers to use bil­lions of gal­lons of ethanol and other bio­fu­els.

A slew of En­ergy Depart­ment rules re­quir­ing house­hold prod­ucts to use less elec­tric­ity would be voided, in­clud­ing new stan­dards for ceil­ing 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.

The cau­cus also takes aim at an En­ergy Depart­ment pro­gram that en­cour­ages busi­nesses to use al­ter­na­tive ve­hi­cles in their fleets.

Leg­isla­tive moves

Mead­ows, elected this month to suc­ceed Jim Jor­dan as House Free­dom Cau­cus chair­man, as­sumed his new role last week in part on a plat­form of go­ing af­ter reg­u­la­tions ag­gres­sively.

“For us it is look­ing at the whole reg­u­la­tory re­form is­sue,” Mead­ows, a North Carolina Repub­li­can, said. “How do we re-bal­ance that reg­u­la­tory process where we ac­tu­ally al­low the leg­isla­tive branch to de­ter­mine pol­icy.”

While some of the ex­ec­u­tive or­ders Obama is­sued can be re­versed quickly, others will need to un­dergo the time-con­sum­ing fed­eral rule-mak­ing process.

Con­gress can re­verse the most re­cent reg­u­la­tions with sim­ple ma­jor­ity votes in the House and Se­nate us­ing the Con­gres­sional Re­view Act.

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