(Update: This piece originally, incorrectly stated that Meadows offered the ideas to Donald Trump in a personal meeting.)
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the incoming chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has offered Donald Trump a list of 232 regulations that the incoming president could repeal immediately. “We felt like it was important to put together a real working document,” Meadows told CNN.
The list, shared by Meadows’s office, includes President George W. Bush’s order restricting access to executive branch papers and Federal Aviation Administration regulations that limit overland supersonic flights. The rationale for repealing that last regulation, in its entirety: “Make Sonic Boom Again.”
That’s as frivolous as the document gets. The rest of it, in no particular order, recommends undoing as many of President Obama’s initiatives as possible.
Climate. The Freedom Caucus suggests that Trump open up oil exploration on federally owned land, pull out of the Paris climate accords (which will produce “little, if any, environmental benefit”), kill the State Department’s office on climate change and the special envoy for climate change, and basically scratch any office assigned to study it — even one at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Energy. Republicans suggest scrapping a slew of environmental regulations opposed by the energy industry, as well as the Renewable Fuel Standard itself — “it is based on incredibly mistaken assumptions about domestic oil production, it gives EPA control over the fuels we use, and increases the cost of fuel.”
Nutrition. The caucus advises Trump to undo Obama-era guidelines for school lunches (“burdensome and unworkable”; “industries can’t comply with the standards”) and supplements. For the latter, one reason is that the Obama rule “places regulations on the serving sizes of breath mints.”
Net neutrality. The caucus recommends undoing the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 regulation, on the grounds that it did too much in a stroke. “At 400 pages and over 2,500 citations, the network neutrality regulations packs in a lot,” the caucus writes. “The regulations reflect the lack of economic rigor.”
Consumers. The caucus recommends amending the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 “to require that no deference be given to the interpretation of consumer financial law by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.”
Smokers. One recommendation would end funding for smoke-free public housing; another would remove tobacco products from the Food and Drug Administration’s purview. “The worst fear of cigar manufacturers and smokers alike has been that the FDA will impose the same onerous premarket review requirements on cigars that it currently places on cigarettes,” the Republicans write.
International development. In addition to nixing the Export-Import Bank — a conservative cause celebre — Republicans advise scrapping the 45-year-old Overseas Private Investment Corp. In both cases, the development organizations are characterized as too political.
Wages. Republicans advise several measures for allowing lower wages, including waiving the Davis-Bacon Act, ending the Obama administration’s overtime rule (currently tied up in court), and ending tougher classification of contractors in part because it “disproportionately hurts independent contractors like Uber and Lyft.” Republicans also suggest ending paid sick leave for federal contractors.
Trump has not commented on the regulations presented to him, but some — such as getting rid of climate change as a factor in international dealmaking — were part of his campaign.