Regulatory Action Center Review – June 18, 2020
Welcome to the new and improved Regulatory Action Center (RAC) Review! RAC proudly keeps you up to date on what we’re up to and what we’re keeping our eyes on here in the swamp. We offer resources for you to get involved in the rulemaking process to hold unelected bureaucrats accountable and occasionally offer praise in the event they have a good impulse. We will also highlight the incredible work our activists have done to advance the principles of smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty, and the rule of law. For more ways to get involved and stay informed, check the links at the bottom of this post. Check back every other Thursday for the latest!
RACtivists by the Numbers
RACtivists have submitted 13,861 comments to regulatory agencies this year concerning nine different proposals. They accounted for over 70 percent of the total number of comments submitted to three of those dockets.
RACtivist Content of the Week
Comment submitted by RACtivist, Thomas C from Illinois, to the FCC concerning the 5G fund for rural broadband:
It is time to ensure that citizens living in rural America were provided with reliable high-speed broadband internet service. It is frustrating to live in a small town in rural America and have fiber optic internet service buried just a block from your home and be told that you can’t access it because it is for the two large cities 20-30 miles to the east and west of you. The companies that were contracted to bury the fiber optic cable had no qualms with tearing up the streets, curbs, sidewalks, and other infrastructure and public and private property in the small towns they passed through during installation, but those towns received no compensation or benefit from the installation of said fiber-optic network from either the contractors or the ISP who paid to have the cable installed. This happened to no fewer than five communities in central Illinois within a 50-mile stretch approximately 8 years ago. Meanwhile, we are left with limited choices for sub-standard internet service (from companies that file for bankruptcy or sell out to competitors every few years) that is unreliable and slow. It is sad that my cellular phone running on 4G data service works about 30-40% faster than an ethernet connected desktop and the cost of my phone service is actually less than my home broadband service. Rural Americans deserve better and we should enjoy the same type of consumer protections the rest of the country does.
Four Things to Know
1) FCC Proposes Creating 5G Fund for Rural Broadband
Back in April, the FCC announced a proposal to create a $9 billion fund to help close the digital divide in America. The Commission is now seeking comment on how best to approach using this money to deliver next-generation technology to rural America. With some areas still lacking even 3G and 4G, it is past time to start seriously considering how to make sure Americans in rural areas don’t fall seriously behind their urban and suburban counterparts.
Resources on this proposal:
Submit your comments to the FCC: HERE
Statement by Chairman Pai: HERE
2) Another Step for Transparency at the EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two weeks ago changes they’re making to regulations promulgated under the Clean Air Act. This new reform would ensure that the public would be informed of the costs and benefits of regulations under consideration. In a statement, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said, “Today’s proposed action corrects another dishonest accounting method the previous administration used to justify costly, ineffective regulations.”
Resources on this proposal:
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: HERE
EPA Fact Sheet: HERE
A comment period is coming! Be on the lookout for a RAC landing page to submit yours soon! If you haven’t already, sign up to get all RAC updates: HERE
3) Department of Labor Makes Retirement Savings Easier
One of the main features of the economy under COVID-19 has been the absolute unpredictability of the stock market. Americans everywhere are struggling to save money, especially for retirement. Luckily, the Department of Labor (DoL) is instituting a change that will allow ordinary investors to get more bang for their buck for their defined contribution retirement plans, including 401(k) plans. In an information letter, the DoL announced that defined contribution plans would now have access to private equity as an investment option. The potential impact of such a change cannot be understated.
Resources on this change:
The Letter: HERE
Department of Labor Press Release: HERE
Additional info from our friends at the National Taxpayers Union: HERE
4) Trump Issues Executive Order on Infrastructure Development
Regulatory reform was one of the hallmarks of the historic economic success America saw under the Trump presidency. Now, it has become a hallmark of the historic economic recovery we are seeing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are glad to see the administration is not taking its foot off the gas. In March of this year, almost 700 FreedomWorks activists submitted comments urging their government to make it easier to complete badly needed infrastructure projects and to lighten the regulatory burden. We applaud the administration for embodying that with their latest EO. Given the success that’s come out of slashing red tape, we hope this is only the beginning of the road to bringing our economy back to soaring heights.
Resources on this Order:
The Executive Order: HERE
You can always find all RAC content (blogs, updates, press releases, and comment campaigns) HERE.
You can always sign up to become an elite RACtivist, if you haven’t already, HERE.