Regulatory Action Center Review – August 9, 2019

Welcome to FreedomWorks Foundation’s fifteenth regulatory review of 2019! Our Regulatory Action Center proudly updates you with our favorite tidbits from the swamp. We want to smash barriers between bureaucracy and the American people by delivering regulatory news straight to FreedomWorks activists. Check back in two weeks for the next edition.

1) Video of the Month: Time and time again, throughout our history, we have seen that when government takes a step back and lets the market regulate itself, industry and innovation thrive. In this weeks video, John Stossel and his guests highlight how the deregulation of airline fares allowed for competition in the industry that radically decreased prices. Stossel also highlights the failure of the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate shipping rates, resulting in high shipping costs that decreased once the Commission was abolished in 1995.

2) HHS outlines drug import plans as Canada ratchets up concern: “The Trump administration on Wednesday announced plans to help states and others import lower-cost drugs from Canada, a popular but controversial idea that President Trump has embraced but that the Canadian government has pushed back on. The plans outlined Wednesday will offer guidelines for setting up drug importation programs, but they also highlighted the challenges of this approach to lowering drug prices for consumers in the United States.”

3) Rule Proposed To FEC Would Further Constrain Foreign Election Contributions: “The potential changes are part of a number of efforts to try to change campaign and other laws in view of the lessons from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The proposed rules would specify the commission’s legal definition of a contribution to include "non-public" information given at no cost or "below market value" and that would cost a campaign a "non-trivial" amount to obtain.

4) EPA proposes easing air pollution permitting process: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) moved to finalize a rule Thursday that would ease the air pollution permitting process for certain power plants and manufacturers. Since the early days of the Trump administration, the EPA has argued the process for obtaining permits under the Clean Air Act, known as New Source Review (NSR), is too burdensome. The agency’s proposal seeks to make a regulation out of a 2018 memo from former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that has already been challenged in court by environmental groups.”

5) Federal agencies banned from purchasing equipment from Huawei, other Chinese groups: “The Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued an interim rule Wednesday banning federal purchases of telecommunications equipment from Huawei and four other Chinese companies. The interim rule will go into effect on Aug. 13, and was issued in response to passage of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which banned federal agencies from using equipment or services from the five companies after that date.”

6) Will The Regulatory Right-To-Know Act Ever Be Enforced?: “To bring some discipline to the regulatory enterprise, there has for a long while needed to be an executive order on federal agency guidance documents…Passed as part of the Treasury Department appropriations bill in 2000, the Regulatory Right-to-Know Act formalized in statute the requirement that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) prepare an annual ‘accounting statement and associated report’ to Congress ‘containing an estimate of the total annual costs and benefits of Federal regulatory programs, including rules and paperwork’”

7) FDA approved world’s priciest drug using faulty data: “The Food and Drug Administration is taking action against pharmaceutical giant Novartis for failing to report faulty data to government regulators about its $2.1 million drug that treats a paralyzing, fatal genetic disease. The FDA plans to "use its full authorities to take action, if appropriate, which may include civil or criminal penalties" against the company’s gene therapy subsidiary, AveXis Inc., FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless said in a statement Tuesday…The FDA said that despite the finding, the agency still had a positive assessment of the drug when it was tested in people and was considering its next steps.”

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