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Friday, June 23, 2017

#MAGA's first 38 baby steps: the President and his legislative juggernaut, law by law.


This morning, at 6:39 am- before settling down to his Egg McMuffin and Diet Coke, the President tweeted:


I got curious to see just what he has signed.


Federal buildings have been named, and appointments confirmed. A holiday has been declared. Bones were tossed to the coal industry.

Virtually all of the rest are actions under the Congressional Review Act of 1996, which allows Congress to overturn rules adopted by the executive in the previous six months. Smart presidents know about this law, which is why Republicans were able to find so few regs to repeal from the Obama Administration’s last half-year.

Now that that six-month window has closed, ain’t gonna be no more of that low-hanging fruit to pick.

Here’s what The President has worked so hard to help pass and then signed:

-The Follow the Rules Act (June 14), described as

(Sec. 2) This bill extends the prohibition against a person taking, failing to take, or threatening to take or fail to take a personnel action against any employee or applicant for employment for refusing to obey an order that would require the individual to violate a law to personnel actions against such an individual for refusing to obey an order that would violate a rule or regulation.

And here’s the text that #MAGAs!:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Follow the Rules Act”.

SEC. 2. PROHIBITED PERSONNEL ACTION BASED ON ORDERING INDIVIDUAL TO VIOLATE RULE OR REGULATION.

(a) In General.—Subparagraph (D) of section 2302(b)(9) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting “, rule, or regulation” after “law”.

(b) Technical Correction.—Such subparagraph is further amended by striking “for”.

- H.R. 375 - An Act to designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 719 Church Street in Nashville, Tennessee, as the “Fred D. Thompson Federal Building and United States Courthouse”, June 6.


-H.R. 366 - DHS Stop Asset and Vehicle Excess Act or the DHS SAVE Act, which sets new guidelines for management of motor vehicles run by the Department of Homeland Security, June 6.

-S. 583 - American Law Enforcement Heroes Act of 2017, which “amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to include as an allowable use of grant funds under the Community Oriented Policing Services program prioritizing the hiring and training of veterans as career law enforcement officers.” June 2.

-S. 419 - Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2017, June 2.

-H.J.Res. 66 - Joint Resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by States for non-governmental employees, May 17.

CNN Money said, “Congress repealed an Obama-era rule Wednesday that had paved the way for states to create their own retirement savings plans for private sector workers.

“The rollback is expected have a chilling effect on the plans already underway in seven states, but won't necessarily halt them. California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington have already adopted legislation to create new savings programs, while lawmakers in at least a dozen other states are considering similar plans.”

See also, H.J.Res. 67 - Joint Resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by qualified State political subdivisions for non-governmental employees, signed April 13.

-H.R. 274 - Modernizing Government Travel Act, May 16. “The Administrator of General Services shall prescribe regulations under section 5707 of title 5, United States Code, to provide for the reimbursement for the use of a transportation network company or innovative mobility technology company by any Federal employee traveling on official business under subchapter I of chapter 57 of such title, except that the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts shall prescribe such regulations with respect to employees of the judicial branch of the Government.”


-S. 496 -An Act to repeal the rule issued by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration entitled “Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordination and Planning Area Reform”, May 12.

“(Sec. 1) This bill nullifies the Federal Highway Administration's and the Federal Transit Administration's rule published on December 20, 2016, that revises transportation planning regulations with regard to the alignment of planning regulations with statutory provisions relating to the establishment of metropolitan planning area boundaries and the designation of metropolitan planning organizations.”

-H.R. 534 - U.S. Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act, May 8. “To require the Secretary of State to take such actions as may be necessary for the United States to rejoin the Bureau of International Expositions, and for other purposes.”

It's the next-best waste of money after hosting the Olympics.


-H.R. 244 - Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, May 5. The President’s slash-and-burn budget blueprint.


-H.J.Res. 99 - Joint Resolution making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2017, and for other purposes, April 28. This extends retirement benefits for coal miners.

-S.J.Res. 36, 35 and 30 - Joint Resolution providing for the appointment of Roger W. Ferguson, Steve Case and Michael Govan as citizen regents of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, April 19.

-S. 544 - An Act to amend the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to modify the termination date for the Veterans Choice Program, and for other purposes. “If you are already enrolled in VA health care, the Choice Program allows you to receive health care within your community.” The law winds it down. Vets who don’t live near VA hospitals get to do lots of driving again.

-H.R. 353 - Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017, April 18.

-H.J.Res. 43 - Joint Resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with title X requirements by project, April 13.

This joint resolution nullifies a Department of Health and Human Services rule regarding subrecipients of family planning grants. (Under the rule, grant recipients may prohibit an entity from receiving a subaward only for reasons related to the entity's ability to provide family planning services.)

-S.J.Res. 34 - Joint Resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband Services.”

This is the one that lets your internet provider scrape your use and personal data and sell it without telling you.


-H.R. 1228 - An Act to provide for the appointment of members of the Board of Directors of the Office of Compliance to replace members whose terms expire during 2017, and for other purposes, April 3.

-H.J.Res. 83, which nullifies the Department of Labor's rule titled Clarification of Employer's Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness, April 3.

How to make it easier for employers to escape liability.

-H.J.Res. 69, which nullifies the Department of the Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service's final rule relating to non-subsistence takings of wildlife on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska, April 3.

Eskimos don’t get more fish than whites any more.

-S.J.Res.1 - Joint Resolution approving the location of a memorial to commemorate and honor the members of the Armed Forces who served on active duty in support of Operation Desert Storm or Operation Desert Shield, March 31.

-H.R.1362 - An Act to name the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Pago Pago, American Samoa, the Faleomavaega Eni Fa'aua'a Hunkin VA Clinic, March 31.


-H.J.Res.42 - Joint Resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to drug testing of unemployment compensation applicants, March 31.

More drug tests for the poor to get less aid!

-S. 305 - Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, March 28. A new holiday.

-H.J.Res.57 - Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to accountability and State plans under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, March 27. States don’t have to prove they are complying with federal law.

-H.J. Res. 58 - Joint Resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to teacher preparation issues, March 27.

Rules setting standards for teacher qualifications are such a drag.

-H.J. Res. 44 - Joint Resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior relating to Bureau of Land Management regulations that establish the procedures used to prepare, revise, or amend land use plans pursuant to the Federal Land, March 27.

-H.J. Res. 37 - Joint Resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration relating to the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

-S.442 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017, March 21.

The President likes space.

-H.R.609 - To designate the Department of Veterans Affairs health care center in Center Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, as the "Abie Abraham VA Clinic", March 13.


-H.R. 321 - Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act, February 28.

The President likes space.

-H.R. 255 - Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act, February 28.

Women can run business but not their ovaries.

-H.J.Res. 40 - Joint Resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, February 28.

This is the one that lets mentally ill people buy guns: “This joint resolution nullifies the “Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007” rule finalized by the Social Security Administration on December 19, 2016. The rule implements a plan to provide to the National Instant Criminal History Background Check System the name of an individual who meets certain criteria, including that benefit payments are made through a representative payee because the individual is determined to be mentally incapable of managing them. (Current law prohibits firearm sale or transfer to and purchase or possession by a person who has been adjudicated as a mental defective.)”

-H.J.Res.38 - Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule, February 16. Coal miners need more freedom to pollute: “surface coal mining operations on surface water, groundwater, and the productivity of mining operation sites.”


-H.J.Res.41 - Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a rule submitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to "Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers", February 14. “This joint resolution nullifies the "Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers" rule finalized by the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 27, 2016. (The rule, mandated under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, requires resource extraction issuers to disclose payments made to governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals.)”

-H.R.72 - GAO Access and Oversight Act of 2017, January 31. More oversight authority for an agency Congress tells what to investigate.

-S.84 - A bill to provide for an exception to a limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commissioned officer of the Armed Forces, January 20.


This law gave James Mattis permission to become Secretary of Defense.

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