Congressman Goodlatte has tweeted his pleasure at a report that the Trump administration is killing 16 federal regulations for every new one adopted.
Tellingly, Goodlatte says nothing about the actual regulations that have been scrapped or why he believes they are unnecessary. His default position is that regulations of any kind are almost always bad for business; his favorite description for them is “burdensome.” Their role in protecting workers, consumers and the environment are of little or no concern to him.
The Washington Post reported last week:
The Trump administration said it was pulling or suspending 860 pending regulations. Of those, 469 were being completely withdrawn. Another 391 were being set aside or reevaluated. These proposed regulations could be revisited at some point or dropped altogether.
The rules the administration targeted govern everything — from the basics of everyday living, such as a product safety standard for mattresses’ flammability when it comes to cigarettes, to what sort of precautions construction firms should be required to take so their workers are not run over by other vehicles on site.
Consumer and worker advocates countered that Trump officials were scrapping critical government safeguards, and the implications of these actions could ripple across the country for years.
“These rollbacks of critical public protections will leave American workers, consumers and children vulnerable on a daily basis,” said Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, “to risks such as air and water pollution, unsafe products and tainted food, dangerous workplaces and a newly deregulated Wall Street that once again could threaten economic collapse.”
(More details here.)
Among the regulations that Goodlatte is pleased to see disappear or be delayed:
— The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, that required any company bidding on a federal contract of $500,000 or more to disclose labor law violations– including wage theft and health and safety infractions. Those disclosures then had to be taken into account during the bidding process.
— A regulation that would have helped low-wage workers save money in government-sponsored retirement plans through auto-IRA accounts.
— Rules aimed at reducing workers’ exposure to cancer-causing silica and beryllium.
None of this seems to matter to Congressman Goodlatte, who has long put private profits above workers’ rights and public safety.