WASHINGTON – Republicans on Monday continued their drive to loosen U.S. regulation, taking the first step to kill five Obama-era rules on corruption, the environment, labor and guns under the virtually untested Congressional Review Act.
The House Rules Committee sent to the full chamber three regulations enacted under former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, to ax. They were the Stream Protection Rule, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s “resource extraction rule,” and one on gun buying.
Republicans put as much urgency on limiting what they consider over-regulation that stifles economic growth as they do on overhauling the tax code and dismantling the Affordable Care Act, according to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
This is the first time the Republican-led House of Representatives has targeted specific rules since convening on Jan. 3. Earlier this month it passed bills to limit regulatory agencies and Republican President Donald Trump is cutting regulation through executive orders.
Under the law, Congress can use simple majority votes to stop recent regulations in their tracks. Agencies cannot create a new rule to replace any part of an overturned regulation. Timing in the law means any rules enacted in the final months of Obama’s administration are eligible for axing.
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