Regulatory Action Center Review – October 18, 2019

Welcome to FreedomWorks Foundation’s twentieth 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 Week: Earlier this week, President Trump signed two new Executive Orders that rolled back the opaque practice of regulating through internal agency guidance. But what is an Executive Order, and why did the President use this authority rather than asking Congress to pass legislation? This weeks video from TED-Ed breaks down this sometimes confusing practice and explains why Presidents have often chosen to use Executive Orders to govern executive agencies that are directly under the control of the President.

2) NASA paid SpaceX for safety review after Musk smoked pot: “SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s infamous pot-smoking incident last year prompted NASA to order a mandatory review of the federal contractor’s workplace culture — but taxpayers, not the company, are bearing the cost, according to contracting records reviewed by POLITICO. The space agency agreed to pay SpaceX $5 million in May to cover the cost of the review, which includes educating its employees and ensuring they are following strict guidelines for federal contractors barring illegal drug use.”

3) Senate Dems lose forced vote against EPA power plant rule: “Senate Democrats forced a floor vote Thursday to block the implementation of a Trump administration environmental rule that aims to weaken regulations on power plant emissions. The vote, which failed 41 to 53, was largely seen as a protest of the Trump administration’s rollbacks on several environmental protections and climate change mitigation efforts, and offers a roadmap of actions Democrats might take if they win back the Senate in 2020.”

4) Trump’s New Executive Orders Deserve Praise: “The discussion of President Donald Trump’s record on regulation is distressingly tribal. Emphasizing the importance of environmental protection, worker safety and civil rights, his harshest critics see deregulation as a dirty word. Complaining of regulation run riot in the past, his most enthusiastic supporters celebrate the smallest changes as heroic efforts to restore freedom to a nation that lies prostrate and humiliated before all-powerful bureaucrats. But on some occasions, the administration does something that all tribes should be willing to endorse. That was the case last week when Trump issued two executive orders designed to improve the operation of the regulatory state.”

5) Energy Secretary Rick Perry tells Trump he plans to resign, sources say: “Energy Secretary Rick Perry notified President Trump on Thursday that he intends to leave his job soon, two administration sources familiar with the matter said. Perry was traveling with the president to Texas when he shared the news aboard Air Force One. Speaking to reporters later Thursday, Trump called Perry "outstanding" and announced, "We already have his replacement." But, Trump said Perry would stay on until the end of the year.”

6) Succession at DHS up in the air as Trump set to nominate new head: “President Trump is expected to announce a new Homeland Security secretary this week, amid chaotic turnover in the department’s top ranks. Trump wrote Friday that acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan would resign, adding that he "will be announcing the new Acting Secretary next week."

7) Forest Service recommends lifting Roadless Rule for the Tongass: “The U.S. Forest Service announced today that it’s seeking a full exemption from the Roadless Rule of the Tongass National Forest. The rule, which has applied to Alaska for more than a decade, makes it difficult to build new roads through national lands. But the U.S. Forest Service is proposing changes that could make Alaska the only state that doesn’t have to follow it. Of six alternatives listed in the plan, a full exemption is the Forest Service’s recommended choice.”

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