Right Hooks

Congress Follows Trump's Lead in Cutting Regulations

Republicans have been busy working to get deregulating legislation across Trump's desk.

Political Editors · Jul. 6, 2017

The Republican-led Congress is looking to follow President Donald Trump’s lead in cutting government regulations. This week, the House Appropriations Committee recommended slashing what amounts to a year’s worth of regulations enacted under Barack Obama. Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the American Action Forum, described it this way: “The suite of appropriations bills released this week goes further, curtailing more than $19 billion in total regulatory costs and eliminating 10.4 million hours of paperwork, the equivalent of eliminating all regulations from 2006 and freeing 5,200 employees from paperwork compliance.” Historically, Congress has moved very slowly in cutting regulations, but Republicans seem to be eager to ensure that the Trump-initiated deregulation reform isn’t easily reversed by future administrations.

And speaking of Congress’ work, as is often the case, popular perception belies reality. Congress has sent more legislation to Trump’s desk than either George W. Bush or Barack Obama saw at this point in their presidencies. In fact, since Jimmy Carter, only Bill Clinton has seen more bills passed this early in his presidency. Clearly, Congress has been busy, but leave it to The Washington Post to seek to diminish Republicans’ accomplishments under Trump.

The Post ran a scoop with the dubious title “60 percent of the bills Trump has signed into law have been one page long.” In the story, the Post, while admitting that Congress has produced more legislation than recent previous presidents including Obama, downplays the legislative significance, suggesting that a short page length must equate to a lack substance. As if the Obama era’s 2,000 page laws are desirable. The article’s author laughably reasons, “One rough metric we can use to assess [the significant value of legislation] is the page-count of each bill signed into law. It takes a lot less language to, say, name a courthouse after former senator (and ‘Law and Order’ actor) Fred Thompson than it does to repeal and replace ObamaCare.” That’s true as far as a pithy line goes. But by this logic one wonders what level of significance The Washington Post ascribes to that one-page document known as the Declaration of Independence.

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