Regulatory Action Center Review – September 20, 2019

Welcome to FreedomWorks Foundation’s eighteenth 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: One of the biggest travesties of the expanding reach of top-down, centralized, federal decision-making is that ordinary Americans often become trapped in the margins. In this weeks video, Reason TV analyses one of the major areas where people are being left behind by federal policy: Right to Try. Take a look at how supporting individual choice in healthcare can lead to far better outcomes for patients.

2) Trump says EPA will cite San Francisco for pollution stemming from homelessness issues: “President Trump on Wednesday said he expects the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to slap San Francisco with a violation notice in the coming days related to pollution associated with the city’s homeless people. Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump again took aim at Los Angeles and San Francisco over the volume of homeless people in each city. But he escalated his rhetoric, saying an announcement citing San Francisco for environmental violations would come in the next week.”

3) Documents show extent of Interior plan to decentralize Bureau of Land Management: “Included in the Department of Interior’s decision to decentralize the Washington office that manages the nation’s public lands is a plan to move congressional affairs staff 2,600 miles away to Reno, Nevada. The agency announced in July that it would be moving about 300 D.C.-based Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employees out West, but internal Interior Department documents shared with The Hill on Monday show the extent to which roles traditionally placed in the nation’s capital are being shotgunned across the country.”

4) Trump administration expected to roll back clean water rule: “The Trump administration is expected to complete on Thursday a new rule that rolls back parts of the 2015 clean water rule that expanded federal authority over the nation’s streams, rivers and wetlands…Advocates of the change, which rolls back federal authority, called the previous rule a power grab that impeded economic development. The EPA proposed replacing the rule in December following an executive order from President Donald Trump.”

5) Confidential DHS Report Found ICE Kept ‘Alarming’ Number of Mentally Ill Detainees in Solitary Confinement: “An Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center kept an "alarming" number of mentally ill immigrant detainees in solitary confinement for "shockingly" long times, according to a previously confidential Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo obtained by the Project on Government Oversight. One detainee was held in solitary for 904 days. A 2017 DHS review of an ICE detention center in Adelanto, California, which is operated under a contract by the company GEO Group, found that the detention center’s use of prolonged solitary confinement on mentally ill detainees was "both inhumane and in violation of" ICE policy.”

6) After Legally Receiving Food Stamps, This Millionaire Is Trying to Change the System: “Rob Undersander, a retired engineer in Waite Park, Minnesota, wasn’t eager to go public about being a millionaire, but he wanted to expose a loophole that would allow wealthy—or at least those not needy—to qualify for food stamps. So, in June 2016, he filled out an application form at the Stearns County social services office, and said he used an “abundance of honesty and caution” in applying for food stamps. He recalled even talking to a top county official regarding social services, and told him about his assets upfront. ‘I begged him to find some reason to deny my application for food stamps,’ Undersander, 66, told The Daily Signal after a congressional hearing Thursday. ‘He said there is nothing he can do, because he doesn’t make policy.’”

7) Top conservative presses VA on allegations of retaliation against employees protecting whistleblowers: “Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) on Monday raised concerns over allegations of wrongdoing and retaliation against employees working to protect whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In a letter sent to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, the incoming House Freedom Caucus chairman said he was approached by two high-profile employees in the agency’s Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection (OAWP) alleging they have been the victims of retaliatory acts.”