Scott Adams “Dilbert” cartoon has a character–“Mordac, the preventer of information services.” Mordac’s role is to make sure computers don’t work. It reminds me of our current Congress, which seems determined to make sure government doesn’t work.
Rep. Capuano (D-MA) explains:
Taking Steps to Reduce Regulation
On Tuesday the House considered H.R. 4607, the Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act. This legislation amends the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act. It requires financial regulators, including the Federal Reserve and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to examine all regulations they have issued every seven years and eliminate any that they feel are no longer relevant or necessary. Current law requires a review every ten years. The legislation specifically focuses on the burden of regulations on big banks, pay day lenders, mortgage lenders and other financial companies, and does not consider how the regulations might benefit consumers. The review process required by H.R. 4607 is burdensome and would have to be done so frequently that it reduces the time and resources for agencies to actually review the companies they are supposed to be regulating.
H.R. 4607 passed; every Republican voted YEA.
Easing Pollution Regulations
On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 1917, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2017. This legislation delays rules related to Clean Air Act oversight of pollutants generated by the brick and clay ceramic industry until all legal challenges have been resolved. The rule was already put on hold by the Trump Administration. H.R. 1917 seeks to delay it even further. This industry generates air pollutants like hydrogen fluoride that cause serious health issues and can lead to cancer. The rule in question would require factories to reduce their pollution generation. Without it, the level of air pollution generated is essentially unregulated, creating health and environmental concerns.
H.R. 1917 passed; almost every Republican including Rep. Reed voted YEA.
More Weakening of the Clean Air Act
On Thursday the House considered H.R. 1119, the Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment Act. This legislation is yet another way to weaken the Clean Air Act. It changes the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule so that waste coal power plants are subject to less oversight. Under the new MATS standards the threshold for emitting pollutants such as mercury and other air toxins would be higher. This has a damaging impact on the environment and threatens public health.
H.R. 1119 passed; Republicans overwhelmingly voted YEA. However, Rep. Reed to his credit voted NO. Sometimes Tom does right, but mostly when his vote isn’t needed.