In June, the House passed the Financial CHOICE Act, a comprehensive financial regulatory reform bill that would replace large parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.
Because the Republicans hold a slim majority in the Senate, passing such a comprehensive reform package is difficult, at best. Nonetheless, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, led by Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, recently passed its own reform bill with bipartisan support.
That bill—the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act—is a more targeted financial reform bill than the CHOICE Act, but there’s a great deal of overlap between the two measures.
One of the most important areas of overlap between the House and Senate bills is that each includes its own version of a regulatory off-ramp. Although the Senate bill includes a more limited regulatory off-ramp than the CHOICE Act, the two versions are not irreconcilable.
Overall, the Senate bill includes similar versions of about 15 CHOICE Act provisions.
These efforts by the House and Senate give hope that Congress can enact important financial regulatory reforms, with the Senate possibly voting on its bipartisan bill as early as this month.
To help the most Americans, members of Congress should enact—and broaden—as many of these reforms as they can agree to.
Federal rulemaking slowed dramatically in 2017, with the Trump administration issuing two-thirds fewer regulations in its first year (1,136) than both Barack Obama (3,356) and George W. Bush (3,927).
The White House has also committed federal agencies to more than 400 deregulatory actions in 2018.
Here are 10 of the past year’s most consequential actions to rein in the regulatory excesses of previous administrations.
1. Clean Power Plan.
At an estimated annual cost of $7.2 billion, the Clean Power Plan was the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s global warming crusade. The EPA on Oct. 16 published its proposed repeal of the regulation on the grounds that the rulemaking exceeded the agency’s statutory authority.
Beyond the avoided compliance costs, the repeal would reset limits on the EPA’s climate-related regulatory excesses.
2. Net Neutrality.
The 2015 “net neutrality” rule, formally titled the Open Internet Order, subjected Internet service e providers to antiquated regulation by the Federal Communications Commission. The order was reversed on Dec. 14 by a commission vote of 3-2.
3. Utilizing the Congressional Review Act.
The White House and Congress have exercised the Congressional Review Act to rescind 15 regulations in the past 12 months. Although enacted in 1996, the Act had only been successfully used once before, in March 2001.
Among the most deserving of repeal: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ill-conceived ban on mandatory arbitration clauses in credit contracts to resolve disputes.
4. Waters of the United States.
This rule, jointly issued by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, created...
Many Americans would be surprised to learn that a series of Supreme Court decisions allow officials in administrative agencies—rather than judges—to have the final say in interpreting statutes and rules.
Administrative agencies touch on nearly every aspect of Americans’ daily lives—from highways to electricity to health, and often with limited supervision from the other branches of government. All three branches of government have acknowledged the problems posed by unaccountable government bureaucrats who perform legislative, executive, and judicial functions.
Congress has its Article I project to regain authority lawmakers have ceded to agencies over the decades, and President Trump is requiring agencies to cut two old regulations before enacting any new ones.
Now it’s time for the Supreme Court to fix the problem it created when it mandated deference to administrative agencies.
In that series of decisions, the Supreme Court turned on its head Marbury v. Madison’s declaration that it is “emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”
The high court held in Chevron v. National Resources Defense Council that when reviewing an administrative agency’s interpretation of laws it is charged with carrying out, judges should defer to the agency’s judgment if the law is not clear and the agency’s interpretation is reasonable.
The Heritage Foundation announced with some fanfare Dec. 19 that with the new year Kay Coles James would become president of the leading policy research organization, which turns 45 in 2018.
For some of those outside the Beltway and on behalf of one of the fastest-growing voting populations, millennials, permit me to pose the questions: Who is Kay Coles James, and why should we care?
In 2003, I attended the funeral of E.V. Hill, the great Baptist pastor, while I was a student at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. I remember sitting in the audience at West Angeles Church of God in Christ when it was announced that the White House had sent a representative on behalf of President George W. Bush. Much to my surprise, Kay Coles James, then director of the U. S. Office of Personnel Management, stepped to the pulpit.
I was awestruck because this lady was someone I greatly respected and admired as a young conservative. Little did I know that I would end up working in the same administration, much less have the honor of Kay’s taking me under her wing as one of the many young African-American conservatives she has mentored along the way.
When Kay founded The Gloucester Institute and restored Holly Knoll, that beautiful house off Virginia’s York River that once belonged to celebrated educator Robert Russa Moton, I visited her home for one of the earliest meetings of what she called the First Saturday Group.
Dozens gathered at Kay’s invitation to foster dialogue...
Iran has been rocked by a wave of protests against the Islamist regime since Dec. 28. Popular demonstrations ignited by smoldering resentment about Iran’s mismanaged economy quickly escalated to political denunciations of Tehran’s rulers.
President Donald Trump was quick to offer support to the protesters in a series of tweets. At 7:44 a.m. New Year’s Day, he tweeted:
Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!
Early chants about price hikes have given way to increasingly bold criticisms of what the protesters see as a corrupt and repressive government that fails to meet their needs. Their demands varied.
Early chants about price hikes have given way to increasingly bold criticisms of what the protesters see as a corrupt and repressive government that fails to meet their needs. Their demands have varied.
Some chanted, “We don’t want an Islamic Republic” and “Death to the dictator,” the latter being a reference to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Economic Resentments Amplify Political Revulsion
The protests apparently were triggered by a surge in prices of basic food supplies, which also had contributed to early Arab Spring protests six years ago. Protests spread quickly, sparked by social-media posts, as state-controlled media blocked press coverage.
These are the largest protests since millions of Iranians flooded the streets in 2009 to protest against then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s rigged...
“I was depressed. I was going through difficulty at that point. I needed counseling, I needed care, not assisted suicide pills,” J.J. Hanson, who died Dec. 30 at age 36, told The Daily Signal last year about a time in his life after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
A Marine veteran, Hanson is survived by his wife, Kristen, and two sons, James and Lucas.
Told when he was diagnosed in 2014 that he would live only a few months more, he managed to have three more years with his family.
“J.J. lived his motto: ‘Every day is a gift, and you can’t ever let that go.’ … J.J.’s death is a loving example of an authentic ‘death with dignity,'” said Kathleen M. Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference.
Hanson also spoke about his decision to fight for life, and against assisted suicide legalization, in this video produced by the Patients Rights Action Fund, which he worked for:
If you wish to donate to his wife and children, the YouCaring page is here.
The post This Marine Veteran Just Died of Cancer at 36. Here’s Why He Fought Assisted Suicide. appeared first on The Daily Signal.
Fake news isn’t suddenly ruining America, but putting government in charge of deciding what news is fake will.
In the wake of President Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, numerous media outlets ran stories claiming that many websites had published false stories that helped Trump beat Hillary Clinton.
Since then Left-leaning opinion writers have called for a solution to this alleged epidemic. The New York Times reported last January that Silicon Valley giants Facebook and Google will team up with legacy media outlets to fact-check stories and curtail the proliferation of “fake news.”
However, intentionally misleading news has been around since before the invention of the printing press. In fact, our Founding Fathers grappled with this very issue when they created our system of government. They saw that while it was tempting to censor fake stories, ultimately the truth was more likely to be abused by an all-powerful government arbiter than the filter of unimpeded popular debate. Attempts to weed out factually incorrect news reports can quickly morph into fact-checking and manipulating differences in opinion.
Fortunately, there have been few serious calls in the United States for official censoring of political news or media, in contrast to most of the world, including Europe. Freedom of thought, freedom of the press, and even the freedom to be wrong make America great and exceptional. In addition to preserving liberty, our free-wheeling tradition gives the United States an edge in adapting to the increasingly decentralized media landscape that is a natural product of the Internet Age. Most...
Editor’s note: For our roundup of letters at year’s end, we thought we’d highlight some letters from The Daily Signal’s audience that we meant to publish earlier. Enjoy, and don’t forget to write us at email@example.com.—Ken McIntyre
Dear Daily Signal: In my view, the No. 1 problem in D.C. is that congressmen and senators constantly are re-elected and do not have term limits like the president does. They end up serving for decades, and their focus shifts from serving their country and constituents, if that was ever their motivation, to getting re-elected and gaining more power.
The year 2017 amply demonstrated this issue. The Founders anticipated this, and gave a means to rectify it in Article 5 of the Constitution. Article 5 deals with amending the Constitution, and provides two means.
The one that has been used exclusively to date is that Congress passes a proposed constitutional amendment and sends it to the states, three-fourths of which (38) must ratify the amendment for it to be approved.
The other way to amend the Constitution is for two-thirds of the states (34) to propose convening a constitutional convention. If the states approve the same charter, a convention is convened and may consider any amendment to the Constitution.
This has been used as a red herring by opponents who say any crazy thing could be proposed. When the organization making this push convened a mock convention, though, that didn’t happen because of the rules in place. But even if something crazy was proposed, it would be...
A husband-and-wife baking team must pay a $135,000 fine for declining to make a cake for the wedding of two women, Oregon’s second-highest court has ruled.
A three-judge panel of the Oregon Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a decision by a state agency that led to the fine and forced Aaron and Melissa Klein to close their bakery.
The court ruled that baking wedding cakes is not “speech, art, or other expression” protected by the First Amendment. The judges said the state did not “impermissibly burden the Kleins’ right to the free exercise of religion” because it compelled the Christian bakers only to comply with “a neutral law of general applicability.”
Oregon law prohibits businesses from refusing service because of a customer’s sexual orientation, as well as because of race, gender, and other personal characteristics.
“We are very disappointed in the court’s decision,” Michael Berry, deputy general counsel at First Liberty Institute, which represents the Kleins, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview Friday. “I think that punishing people for their religious beliefs is … not American, and it’s wrong.”
“It does not matter how you were born or who you love,” one of the lesbians, Laurel Bowman-Cryer, said in a written statement following the ruling. “All of us are equal under the law and should be treated equally. Oregon will not allow a ‘Straight Couples Only’ sign to be hung in bakeries or other stores.”
Boyden Gray, former White House counsel to President George H.W. Bush, argued the Kleins’ case....
The University of Wisconsin-Madison will reintroduce a class this spring that teaches students why being white is a bad thing.
The “Problem of Whiteness” course—part of the African Cultural Studies program—makes its mission to help students “understand how whiteness is socially constructed and experienced in order to help dismantle white supremacy.” The class will also investigate how white people “consciously and unconsciously perpetuate institutional racism and how this not only devastates communities of color but also perpetuates the oppression of most white folks along the lines of class and gender.”
The course aims also to teach students about what an ethical white identity entails, as well as what it means to be woke.
“Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive—students said they found it valuable to examine majority cultures and how power imbalances are created, sustained, and challenged in societies around the world,” a University of Wisconsin-Madison spokesperson wrote in an email to The College Fix.
“The problem of racism is the problem of whites being racist towards blacks,” the course’s professor, Damon Sajnani, told The College Fix in a 2016 phone interview. Sajnani is also a rapper who writes songs about the problems of whiteness.Not everyone is happy about the course, however, including multiple state lawmakers who loudly expressed their displeasure over the university’s course offering. “I am extremely concerned that UW-Madison finds it appropriate to teach a...
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo mimicked California Gov. Jerry Brown’s approach to immigration Thursday, pardoning 18 convicted illegal immigrants who were facing deportation.
Cuomo, a Democrat, praised himself on Twitter for his compassion, before linking to a New York Times article supporting the move. Cuomo claimed the federal government is “tear[ing] families apart” with the current immigration policy and felt he was taking the “critical step” to defend those who were unfairly targeted.
While the federal government continues to target immigrants and threatens to tear families apart with deportation, these actions take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York. https://t.co/QK1lzhMgfg
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 28, 2017
Brown, a Democrat, has also taken up the cause of defying federal immigration law in California by pardoning two men from Cambodia who were about to be deported. One of the men was convicted of felony joyriding in 2003 and sentenced to a year in prison, while the other was convicted of a felony weapons charge in 1995, Fox News reports.Brown faced backlash in the media Wednesday for his sanctuary state policy from a man whose son was killed by an illegal immigrant in 2010. Don Rosenberg lost his son Drew Rosenberg when Roberto Galo from Honduras slammed into him with his car and continuously ran him over in an...
California lawmakers are debating whether to adopt a bill that would require California’s public universities and colleges to offer abortion drugs at their health centers.
Senate Bill 320, sponsored by state Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, will mandate that the state’s community colleges and public universities provide women with abortion pills for up to 10 weeks of pregnancy so they don’t face the “burden” of traveling to obtain an abortion.
While the bill—if passed—isn’t set to take effect until 2020, it would also require the state’s public university health centers that don’t already offer abortion pills to provide transportation to an abortion facility or to arrange an abortion for students requesting the procedure.
“If a UC, CSU, or community college already has a student health center, it makes sense that they provide this health care service within that facility so that students do not have to travel many miles away from their work and school commitments in order to [have an abortion],” Leyva said, according to LifeNews. She claims the bill is a necessity so that young collegiate women don’t have to foot the cost of abortions themselves or travel long distances to have abortions.
The state’s health centers already provide reproductive services like birth control, condoms, and STD testing, but this bill seeks to stretch its offerings to a whole new level. The bill would also require the schools to cover the cost...
In 2017, we increased our video production efforts, and hit a new record of 125 million video views. Thank you for watching!
Above we have five of our best mini-documentaries. And just below is our compilation of a few of our best commentary videos.
And here are some of our most popular social videos of 2017:
We’re looking forward to continuing to travel around the country and bring you more firsthand reporting, insights, and powerful videos in 2018. Stay tuned!
You can’t take politics out of politics.
In different words, that’s what James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, expressed when he wrote Federalist No. 10. Instead of eliminating partisan interests, he called for a constitutional system that would pit ambition against ambition to prevent tyranny, rather than trying to extinguish parties or “factions” altogether.
But the age-old desire to create a political system free from rank partisanship threatens to make our governing system worse, not better.
There’s no better illustration of Madison’s wisdom than the current battle over how legislative districts are drawn.
A lower court threw out a 2011 Wisconsin redistricting plan on the basis that the number of Republican- and Democrat-held seats did not reflect the number of total votes for each party in the state. Instead, the seats were skewed to favor the GOP. The issue made its way up to the Supreme Court, which recently heard oral arguments in the case of Gill v. Whitford.
Undoubtedly, as parties have done since the beginning of time, Republicans in the state Legislature drew up congressional districts that were favorable to their party, leading to complaints of injustice.
Though many have cried foul over this practice and now hope the courts will somehow resolve the issue, the judicial cure could become far worse than the disease.
Heritage Foundation expert Hans von Spakovsky warned about how the case could allow courts to be weaponized and injected into partisan political squabbles.
Von Spakovsky wrote in an op-ed essay for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “If the court...
Outside of watching the occasional hockey game or purchase of maple syrup, most Americans pay little attention to Canada.
We may know of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s colorful socks, but little of how unpopular he is among his constituency. We may discuss the single-payer health care system, but are unfamiliar with the government’s disrespect for religious liberty of our neighbors to the north.
Faithful patriots in this country who are concerned by the attacks on free exercise of religion in America should also be concerned by the similar attacks on liberty echoing within Canada, a country with strong protections for religious liberty in its Charter for Rights and Freedom.
In light of the immense trade between our two countries, we must determine if religious intolerance is an intangible export that has escaped our notice.
Last month, Alberta’s Child and Family Services barred a Christian couple from adopting a child because their religious views about sexuality—views shared by orthodox Jews and Muslims—were incompatible with “the official position of the Alberta government.”
The Ministry of Children’s Services stated that the couple’s belief that sexuality should not be experienced or explored until a person is married, would not create a “safe, healthy, loving, and inclusive home.”
And in June, Ontario passed a law that gave state agencies the power to prevent families from adopting or fostering children if the parents would not affirm the child transitioning their “gender identity” from male to female or vice-versa, calling such a denial “child abuse.”
Similarly, the American Civil...
2017 was a rough year for conservative women. Public figures such as Ivanka Trump, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the anchors at Fox News were constantly attacked for their appearance.
“Please welcome that dumpster, smokey-eyed raccoon, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders!” said Chelsea Handler on her self-titled Netflix series.
Attacking women for their looks was a theme among self-proclaimed feminists, who time and time again found a reason to call conservatives “problematic.”
To highlight the hypocrisy on display from liberal women in 2017, The Daily Signal and The Federalist teamed up to declare the most problematic women of the year. For more, tune into our podcast and Facebook Live “Problematic Women” show every Thursday.