Center for Progressive Reform

Regulatory Policy

Assault on Our Safeguards

Donald Trump ran for president with a stated agenda of rolling back regulatory safeguards protecting our health, safety, and environment. Once in office, he surrounded himself with like-minded and outspoken opponents of such protections and set out to make good on his threats.

On the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, the conservative majorities in both houses of Congress share his agenda and set to work rolling back existing safeguards while simultaneously working to erect bureaucratic barriers to future protections.

The principle goal of this effort — unstated by Trump, his allies in Congress, and industry — is to weaken landmark legislation like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, Food Safety Modernization Act, and other laws protecting anyone who drives or rides in cars, eats food, breathes air, drinks water, works outside the home, attends school — in other words, everyone. By blocking the rules that breathe life into the nation’s laws, and preventing regulatory agencies from using them to address emerging hazards, the Trump/congressional assault on our safeguards is sacrificing American lives, leaving consumers needlessly vulnerable to dangerous products, abandoning efforts to combat climate change, weakening a range of environmental protections, and more.


The Congressional Review Act

Most of the legislation signed by Donald Trump in the early days of his administration were repeals of Obama era environmental, health, safety, and consumer rules -- sent his way courtesy of the GOP-controlled Congress and the Congressional Review Act. Read CPR's "The Congressional Review Act: The Case for Repeal."

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The Trump Assault on Our Safeguards

Among the few concrete elements of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign platform was a clear call to roll back regulatory safeguards for health, safety, and the environment. Once in office, he chose like-minded cabinet members and began working to roll back existing regulations while blocking new ones from being developed, gradually working toward weaker safeguards for all of us.

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The Economics of Protection

Much of the opposition to regulatory safeguards for our health, safety, and the environment relies on trumped-up "data" or focus-group tested myths, and many of the proposed solutions are disguised efforts to gum up the regulatory system. CPR Member Scholars and staff have debunked the misleading assertions and laid bare the real purposes.

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Congressional Attacks on Regulation

Americans don't want their kids breathing dirty air or drinking polluted water. They don't want unsafe workplaces and products. So why is Congress working to make sure that's just what they get? Read about the congressional assault on our safeguards.

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Defending Our Safeguards by Promoting Accountability

Donald Trump inherited a regulatory system that was already suffering from too little funding and too many deliberately erected barriers to enforcing the nation’s laws. Now he and his allies are diligently working to make things worse. The results are inevitable: More large-scale disasters like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; the Upper Big Branch mine disaster and the poisoned Elk River in West Virginia; the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas; the Wall Street meltdown that caused the Great Recession; the lead-laden drinking water tragedy in Flint, Michigan; the Wells Fargo fake account scandal; the VW emissions cheating scandal; various outbreaks of food-borne diseases; the Columbia River Gorge oil-train disaster in Oregon; and so much more.

CPR’s Member Scholar and staff experts believe in the value of strong safeguards to protect health, safety, and the environment. Accordingly, they are documenting and combating the Assault on Our Safeguards, holding Trump and Congress accountable with reports, articles, blog posts, and more detailing the harm done to Americans.

Read about the multi-pronged assault on our safeguards:

Be sure to read CPRBlog posts on the Assault on Our Safeguards.

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