Republicans Eye Cutting More Obama Era Regulations

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Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed two of the three pieces of legislation this week passed by Congress that roll back Obama-era regulations.

Republicans are repealing the regulations through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The president’s signature on such legislation Tuesday is the first time the CRA has been used to repeal regulation in 16 years, when Trump signed legislation to roll back a Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would mandate energy companies to show their payments to foreign governments.

The coal industry cheered on another CRA piece of legislation Thursday that came to Trump’s desk for his signature that repealed an Obama-era Department of the Interior rule on coal mine discharge into nearby streams. (RELATED: Trump Signs Repeal Of Obama Coal Mining Regulations)

The CRA allows for Congress to review and repeal federal government department regulation within a 60-day window after the rule has been established. Legislation under the CRA cannot be filibustered in the Senate.

Congress initially proposed 37 resolutions under the CRA as a means to repeal the Obama-era rules.

“Congressional Review Act legislation provides relief for Americans hurt by regulations rushed through at the last minute by the Obama administration. This means freeing up American entrepreneurs, creating jobs, and jump-starting our economy,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement of the numerous bills passed under CRA.

One piece of legislation waiting for Trump’s signature that passed the Senate Wednesday under the CRA repealed a Social Security Administration rule established in December. The regulation mandated that the agency would submit Social Security recipients’ information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) with the intent of showing those who may not be eligible to purchase a firearm.

Democrats say the rule would keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, but Republicans argue the rule cast way too large of a net around social security recipients.

“Over the last several weeks we’ve been using a Congressional Review Act or what is known as CRA’s to take action on the explosion of Obamacare regulations. Hundreds and hundreds of pages of regulations that we’ve seen hurting families destroying jobs all across the country and here’s why our work is so historic. Up until now only six of those bills have ever reached the president’s desk in 21 years and only one was ever signed into law by the end of this week. We will have passed 13 in the last three weeks,” House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers said at a press conference Thursday.

The Senate is expected to take up two more resolutions passed by the House in the coming days, one of which repeals a regulation established by the Bureau of Land Management as well as a rule put forth by the Department of Labor.

The House passed three resolutions under the CRA last week and by the end of Friday, the Senate will be on track to consider 10 resolutions that repeal Obama administration regulations in the next legislative period.

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