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A Few More Obama Rule Repeals Now Await President Trump’s Signature

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More legislation rolling back late Obama-era rules headed to President Trump’s desk this week, after they were approved by the Senate.

Regulations that would have forced federal contractors to disclose wage and labor law violations going back three years now face the chopping block. So, too, do rules on land-planning that Republicans say would crowd-out the input of local and state governments.

A resolution of disapproval on the contractor disclosure rule passed the Senate on Monday, while a similar procedure on the land regulation advanced on Tuesday.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) reacted to the contractor proposal by releasing a report showing that two-thirds of the hundred largest federal contractors have violated labor laws.

More than one-third of the hundred largest penalties doled out by federal workplace safety regulators have been given to firms contracted by the US government, her office also said.

“All Americans deserve a safe workplace and fair pay for a day’s work,” Warren said. “But too often, federal contractors break labor laws while continuing to suck down millions in taxpayer dollars.”

A third resolution of disapproval on Education Department rules is expected to be considered by the Senate, later on Wednesday. The legislation would repeal federal standards for school evaluations and performance disclosures.

One Republican Senator has already said he would oppose the initiative.

“These measures balance state flexibility while reinforcing protections for students of color, students with disabilities, and students from low-income families,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

All three legislative repeals of federal regulations are being advanced by lawmakers under the Congressional Review Act—an arcane 1996 law that can be used to nullify recently-finalized rules.

President Trump has already signed two CRA-bills into law—one repealing disclosure requirements for mining rules, and another rolling back regulations protecting streams from coal mining companies.

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Since 2010, Sam Knight's work has appeared in Truthout, Washington Monthly, Salon, Mondoweiss, Alternet, In These Times, The Reykjavik Grapevine and The Nation. In 2012, he worked as a producer for The Alyona Show on RT. He has written extensively about political movements that emerged in Iceland after the 2008 financial collapse, and is currently working on a book about the subject.

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