Vote to gut regulations mostly follows party lines

If the GOP-dominated legislature continues to have its way, down the road Americans may have to learn the hard way that environmental protections, gun restrictions and financial disclosure laws were enacted for a reason, and the solution to overly cumbersome regulations is to fix them, not gut them.

Emboldened by Trump’s victory and their majorities in both houses, the House of Representatives, largely along party lines, voted to repeal five regulations enacted during the waning days of the Obama administration, and they promise more down the line.

  • Thanks to the GOP, oil companies no longer have to report payments (i.e., bribes) they have made to foreign governments.
  • Mining companies are free to dump their waste in America’s rivers and streams.
  • There will be no limit to the amount of methane (which contributes to “so-called” climate change) that can be emitted from oil and gas drilling.
  • Companies seeking federal contracts will not have to disclose accusations of violating federal labor laws.
  • And it will be easier for people with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, to acquire firearms.

oil-polution.jpgSussex County’s representatives to Congress voted along party lines, with Rodney Frelinghuysen—a Republican whose 11th district includes Sparta, Ogdensburg, Stanhope, Byram and Hopatcong—voting yes on all the repeals.  Josh Gottheimer, a freshman Democrat whose 24th district includes the rest of the county, opposed.

Not even a month into the new administration, America is safer already.