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OpenMarket: May 2018

  • Looking Back on Trump’s Paris Decision: Why It Protected the Constitution and Rule of Law

    May 31, 2018

    This week marks the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the all-pain-no-gain Paris climate treaty. In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the U.S. State Department produced nearly 450 pages of emails and memos—almost every single word of which was redacted. What the department blacked out would have shed light on how the Obama White House got us involved in the Paris treaty by embarking on an unprecedented end-run around the Constitution.

  • Congress Should Reform Antitrust Law with SMARTER Act

    May 31, 2018

    When an American company wishes to merge with or acquire another company, reaching an agreement that satisfies both firms’ owners and managers is not always enough. For most mergers and acquisitions valued at over roughly $80 million, companies must submit tons of paperwork and pay a sizable fee to the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice before they can finalize any deal. Once these filings are complete, the companies can’t finalize their transaction until a waiting period of up to 30 days has elapsed.

  • Despite Trump Repudiation, Paris Climate Treaty Still Needs a Senate Vote

    May 29, 2018

    This week will mark the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s speech announcing that the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, which President Obama originally signed, to great international attention, on September 3, 2016. Unfortunately, despite the strong language of Trump’s statement (and the healthy amount of media criticism is generated), the U.S. is not actually “out of Paris.”

  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    May 29, 2018

    Agencies took it comparatively easy in the leadup to the long Memorial Day weekend, though the FAA and Coats Guard were busy with rules for travelers and revelers, mostly in the form of airworthiness requirements and safety zones near fireworks shows and other events. Other new regulations hitting the books ranged from trans fats to wireless microphones.

  • Finance Regulators Pave Way for Banks to Reenter Small-Dollar Loan Market

    May 25, 2018

    Under the letter of the law, banks can now reenter the small-dollar lending space. On Wednesday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued new guidance encouraging banks to offer small-dollar installment loans. This follows the OCC rescinding prior guidance governing “deposit advance” products last year, which effectively enabled banks to offer a payday loan-type products again.

  • Will Coffee Give You Cancer (in California)?

    May 25, 2018

    Our friends over at Reason TV have a new video asking the attention-grabbing headline “Will coffee give you cancer?” As it turns out, no (unless you’re drinking several thousand cups of coffee a day). But the news earlier this year that the state of California was going to require every coffee shop in the state to post signs warning customers about a cancer risk is, itself, a serious issue.

  • House Committee Examines Union Subsidy

    May 24, 2018

    Today the House Subcommittee on Government Operations held a hearing entitled “Union Time on the People’s Dime: A Closer Look at Official Time.” The purpose of the hearing was to review problems with the practice of official time, which grants federal employees paid time off to perform union business at the taxpayers’ expense. In addition, to discuss potential legislative reforms to official time.

  • On Honesty and 'Honest Brokers' in Government Science

    May 23, 2018

    Today’s E&E News has an interesting article about Richard Yamada, a Ph.D. mathematician who is the key official helping Administrator Scott Pruitt reshape science policy at the Environmental Protection Agency. 

  • Debunking the Dilatory Objections to the AV START Act

    May 22, 2018

    In September 2017, the House of Representatives passed the SELF DRIVE Act by unanimous voice vote. The bill would for the first time establish a national regulatory program for highly automated vehicles (HAVs), defined technically as vehicles equipped with SAE International Levels 3-5 automated driving systems (ADS)—or, in plain English, vehicles that offer limited- to full-self-driving functions. See SAE’s Recommended Practice J3016 for more detail.

  • Trump Maintains a One-In, Five-Out Pace for Rules and Regulations

    May 22, 2018

    How many deregulatory actions have been taken so far in the Trump administration? Along with 16 congressional “resolutions of disapproval” of existing Obama-era regulations—another 142.

    Let’s look at it.

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