President Donald Trump, his cabinet of billionaire robber barons and the corporate-backed Republican Congress are trying to plunder our nation’s wealth and resources by dismantling public protections, rigging the rules for their own personal benefit, and preying on American workers, consumers and families.
Atop their wish list is a rollback of the regulatory protections designed to protect all of us from corporate privateers, pickpockets, polluters and predators – the same people running the Trump administration and bankrolling Republicans in Congress.
The GOP’s corporate donors spent more than $1 billion to get their way in Congress. Demolishing public protections is a giveaway to these corporate interests that directly endangers the American people. It’s an escalation of the corrupt insider-dealing that candidate Trump campaigned against.
A holdover from Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) allows Congress — by majority vote in both chambers, with limited debate, no possibility of a filibuster and the president’s signature — to override recently issued public protections.
Making matters worse, the CRA blocks agencies from issuing rules that are “substantially the same” without express authorization from Congress. Once protections are repealed under the CRA, we won’t get them back any time soon.
On most other fronts, significant legislative, legal and technical obstacles stand in the way of the GOP’s predatory and plutocratic agenda. But the CRA’s expedited process for repeal makes it easy for Republicans to pay back their corporate cronies. Health, safety, consumer and environmental protections that took years of resource-intensive analysis, comment and review are being wiped out in a matter of days or even hours.
Congress had until May to undo Obama administration rules, and Republicans lawmakers didn’t waste any time. They repealed 14 public protections using the CRA:
- Stream Protection Rule
- ESSA Teacher Preparation Standards
- Women’s Health Care Protections
- Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule
- OSHA Recordkeeping Rule
- Land Use Planning Rule
- Oil Anti-Corruption Rule
- Two Rules on Retirement Savings Plans
- Broadband Privacy Protections
- Unemployment Compensation Drug Test Rules
- Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces EO
- ESSA Accountability & State Plan Rules
- Gun Limits for the Severely Mentally Ill
Remarkably, these resolutions remain the only legislation of consequence that President Trump has signed. This represents a fundamental betrayal of candidate Trump’s promises to drain the swamp, rein in Wall Street and defend the middle class.
Despite fierce opposition from the White House and Congress, some federal agencies (such as the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) are still trying to protect the public by issuing new standards and safeguards. Republicans in Congress are using the CRA to strike down their rules.
We’re fighting to protect those rules from CRA repeal. You can help us defend them by learning about the rules at risk and letting your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues know what’s at stake.