Regulation

Judge hears arguments in lawsuit seeking to block Trump’s ‘2-for-1’ order on regulations

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Washington – A federal judge heard arguments Aug. 10 in a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s “2-for-1” Executive Order on federal regulations.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Communications Workers of America labor union on Feb. 8, nine days after President Trump signed the Executive Order.

The order calls for federal agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for every one that is introduced. The White House clarified in a guidance memo on Feb. 2 that the Executive Order would apply only to regulations with an estimated cost of $100 million or more.

Public Citizen contends the order is unconstitutional because it requires agencies “to violate the statutes under which they operate.” Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a press briefing on Feb. 8 that the lawsuit “is wildly inaccurate. It makes a ton of assumptions that call for speculation on what may or may not happen in the future. … It’s just subjective, at best, and doesn’t have any basis in fact.”

In a press release issued Aug. 8, Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said, “No one thinking sensibly about how to set rules for health, safety, the environment and the economy would adopt the Trump Executive Order approach – unless their only goal was to confer enormous benefits on big business. This order is part of the Trump administration’s plan to empower big business to poison our water, pollute our air, endanger workers and cheat our economy.”

After the hearing, Weissman said in a video posted on Facebook that a ruling from Judge Randolph D. Moss could come “probably in the next few months.” He added that he expects an appeal from either side no matter the outcome.

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