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  • House Select Committee Climate Report A Pre-COVID-19 Time Capsule

    July 8, 2020
    On June 30, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released its report. There is little original in the report. Most of its sweeping and costly climate policy recommendations have been around for decades and are very similar to the provisions in last year’s Green New Deal. But one thing is novel, and that is how rapidly the report is becoming outdated in light of COVID-19.
  • New #NeverNeeded Paper: Remove or Reduce Tariffs

    July 8, 2020
    Trade barriers are an obvious #NeverNeeded candidate for removal during a pandemic and a recession. They make medical supplies scarcer and more expensive. They raise consumer prices at a time when millions of people are losing their jobs. And other countries retaliate, so U.S. businesses find shrunken markets for their goods through no fault of their own. Tariffs must go.
  • The E.O. 13891 Guidance Document Portal: An Exercise in Utility

    July 7, 2020
    Federal agencies have been required by Executive Order 13891 to create “a single, searchable, indexed database that contains or links to all guidance documents in effect.” Agencies were given until June 27, 2020 to comply. Not all were ready and some got a waiver. So for the time being, CEI's Wayne Crews made the substitute compilation presented here.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

    July 6, 2020
    The USMCA trade agreement came into effect on July 1, and three states increased their minimum wages. The unemployment rate went down to 11.1 percent. The federal government also took Friday off, though that didn’t stop the 2020 Federal Register from topping 40,000 pages on Thursday. Meanwhile, regulatory agencies issued new regulations ranging from cellulose products to Texas onion tax cuts.
  • Seila Law Leaves More Questions than Answers over the Constitutionality of Past CFPB Actions

    July 2, 2020
    On June 29, the Supreme Court ruled the structure of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be unconstitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the majority opinion, arguing that “the structure of the CFPB violates the separation of powers,” but noting that “the CFPB Director’s removal protection is severable from the other statuary provisions bearing on the CFPB’s authority.” In non-legalese, this essentially means that the agency may continue to exist so long as the CFPB director is removable by the president at will.
  • Unemployment Drops to 11 Percent, Showing the Economy Can Recover If We Let It

    July 2, 2020
    The Labor Department’s announcement Thursday that the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent after the economy added 4.8 million jobs in July proves the previous month’s decline was no fluke and that the best way to recover economically from the COVID-19 outbreak is to simply let businesses reopen. Unemployment remains far too high, but it is at least edging closer to normal from before the outbreak.
  • Air Conditioning Can Help Fight COVID-19—If Federal Policy Allows It To

    July 2, 2020
    COVID-19 persists into the time of year when most Americans rely on air conditioning, so many are asking whether cranking up the cold air helps or hurts in the fight against spreading the virus. The answer is that air conditioning can provide substantial protection from coronavirus, but we need to make sure that the federal government’s pursuit of energy efficiency and climate change policy is not an impediment.
  • For Small Businesses, Hiking Minimum Wages Now Is Like Throwing an Anchor to a Drowning Man

    July 1, 2020
    Three states and three major cities hiked up their minimum wages Wednesday, resisting calls by the business community to hold off until the COVID-19 crisis is under control. Given that most business are going to have radically rethink how they do business, they’ll need more flexibility on how they restructure. A high minimum wage does the exact opposite.
  • Managed Trade: USMCA Comes into Effect Today

    July 1, 2020
    The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) comes into effect today. USMCA’s policy changes are modest, and its economic impact will be small. But it sets a negative precedent for future trade agreements that could have far larger long-term impacts. Most of its changes also attempt to manage trade, rather than free it.
  • A Bright Spot for Tech on USMCA Day

    July 1, 2020
    Today the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement goes into effect. Despite its many flaws, it contains a beneficial provision related to the tech sector. The language of Article 19.17 of the USMCA is similar that of Section 230, the U.S. law governing intermediary liability for web services that has allowed the U.S. tech sector to grow into the dominant world leader we know it as today.

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