Congress is preparing for its annual August-long vacation, even if Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) might scuttle some of those plans. Regulatory agencies have still been plenty busy, with new rules in the last week ranging from Maine’s gas stations to hammerhead shark herd size.
While the number of economically significant rules (costing more than $100 million per year) is down from previous years, the 81 new rules from the last week still range from work surfaces to spirulina extract.
A recent Environmental Protection Agency rule for dental effluence caused some controversy for violating President Trump’s one-in, two-out policy for new rules. The EPA has yet to announce which two rules it is eliminating. As usual in recent months, most other recent rules are routine FAA airworthiness requirements, Coast Guard safety zones, and the like. Other new rules from the last week range from plumbing products to tart cherries.
My colleague Iain Murray informs me that, in the name of eliminating time-wasting government paperwork, the Office of Management and Budget is no longer going to require federal agencies to report on their vulnerability to the Y2K computer bug. As an example of zombie government, there’s perhaps no better example than expecting regular reports on a software glitch that, by definition, ceased to be a real concern over 17 years ago. Better late than never.
President Trump’s domestic policy agenda is, at best, a mixed bag from a classical liberal perspective. And some of his international policy proposals involving foreigners and minorities are shockingly illiberal. But everyone’s birthday is worth celebrating, and his is today, June 14. Here are four gifts Congress should give the president before its annual July 4th recess:
The majority of new regulations coming out are still of the routine procedural variety—Coast Guard safety zones for fireworks shows, Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness directives for airplanes, Environmental Protection Agency clean air regulations for various states, and the like. But other new rules from the last week affect everything from convict labor to Peruvian history.
We’re back from a vacation break, but regulators stayed busy, even with a Memorial Day-shortened work week. After a lengthy delay, several Obama-era rules are starting to come into effect, especially energy-use rules ranging from refrigerators to ceiling fans. Newer rules range from veal tariffs to highways.