Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Congress’ “Regulatory Reform” Package Advances Corporate Interests Against Americans’ Preferences and Best Interests
Press Release

RELEASE: Congress’ “Regulatory Reform” Package Advances Corporate Interests Against Americans’ Preferences and Best Interests

Washington, D.C. — In the past couple of weeks, House Republicans have passed legislation that, when approved by the Senate, will empower Congress and the courts to force a radical deregulation agenda on the American people. Together, the Midnight Rules Relief Act; the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, or REINS, Act; and the Regulatory Accountability, or RAA, Act will result in Americans having fewer protections from big business than ever. Significantly, this legislation comes as the Trump administration signals that it is doubling down on its commitment to advancing corporate interests, filling its ranks with CEOs, and promising huge corporate tax cuts.

A new column published today by the Center for American Progress examines these three extreme bills and their implications. The Midnight Rules Relief Act alone would allow Congress to repeal more than 100 rules and protections issued over the last seven months of the Obama administration. At least 40 of these rules have economic implications of $100,000,000 or more, and more than 100 others have smaller economic footprints but tremendous daily relevance.

“These regulations are how agencies implement legislation like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, which are critical to protecting Americans,” said Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza, CAP Fellow and author of the column. “By attacking critical regulations on businesses and lifting protections, Congress is advancing corporate interests against Americans’ best interests—and against their express preferences. Most Americans actually support regulations on businesses, and these regulations are the result of years of expert analysis and millions of comments from the public. These are rules that stop banks from taking advantage of customers and keep corporations from making people sick to turn a profit.”

The rules in question, among many others, include:

  • Environmental and climate-related rules limiting corporate pollution and emissions, restricting oil and gas exploration in Alaska, and setting conservation standards for new batteries and electronics
  • Regulations ensuring nutritious school lunches for our children and groundbreaking accountability standards to ensure all students are succeeding
  • A guarantee of paid sick days for government contractors and bans preventing financial institutions from exploiting Americans who use prepaid cards
  • A rule that keeps corporations from blocking consumers from bringing class-action suits

“Together, these pieces of legislation will let Congress not only erase critical regulations but also block new rules, not to mention reversing 30 years of Supreme Court precedent to give federal courts the power to overturn rules by substituting their judgement for agencies’ expertise,” Buckwalter-Poza added. “This is particularly concerning for the American public as the Trump administration begins the process of filling not only the Supreme Court vacancy, but also more than 100 judicial vacancies with judges who share Trump’s anti-regulatory vision.”

Read the column: Deregulation Nation: Congress Wants to Let Corporations Take Charge

For more information or to speak to an expert on this topic, please contact Tanya Arditi at [email protected] or 202.741.6258.