In the times of Biblical Egypt, when one Pharaoh took over after the reign of an unpopular Pharaoh, it was not uncommon for every reference to the deceased monarch to be erased from the temples, his name etched from hieroglyphics. He was gone from history, deleted forever as a bad dream.
The new Pharaoh would make the decree with the addition, “So let it be said; so let it be written, so let it be done.” Now Senate Republicans have taken the first steps to erase the reign of King Barrack I from the history books in moves that could almost be called biblical in their swiftness and their severity,
So let it be said. The Republican-controlled Congress on Thursday scrapped Obama-era rules on the environment and guns, counting on a new ally in the White House to help reverse years of what the GOP calls excessive regulation.
The Interior Department, which announced the rule in December, said that it would protect 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests, preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby waters.
Republicans and some Democrats say the coal-mining rule could eliminate thousands of coal-related jobs and ignores dozens of federal, state and local regulations already in place.
The Senate gave final approval to a measure eliminating a rule to prevent coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the stream rule “an attack against coal miners and their families” and said it would have threatened coal jobs and caused major damage to communities in Kentucky and other coal-producing states.
“The legislation we passed today will help stop this disastrous rule and bring relief to coal miners and their families.”
So let it be written. The Senate’s 54-45 vote sends the repeal of the stream protection rule to President Donald Trump. The vote was the first in a series of actions Republicans are expected to take in coming weeks to reverse years of what they call excessive regulation during President Barack Obama’s tenure.
On the coal mining vote, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was the sole Republican to oppose the repeal measure, which was supported by four Democrats: Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Claire McCaskill of Missouri. All four face re-election next year in states Trump won.
Democrats called the vote an attack on clean water and a clear win for big coal-mining companies and other polluters.
The House backed a separate resolution doing away with extended background checks for gun purchases by some Social Security recipients with mental disabilities. In the House, the issue was an Obama rule extending background checks for disabled Social Security recipients mentally incapable of managing their affairs. The House voted 235-180 to scuttle it.
Under the rule, the Social Security Administration had to provide information to the gun-buying background check system on recipients with a mental disorder considered so severe they cannot work and need someone to handle their benefits. The rule, also finalized in December, would have affected an estimated 75,000 beneficiaries. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee released a statement:
“There is no evidence suggesting that those receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration are a threat to public safety.”
“Once an unelected bureaucrat unfairly adds these folks to the federal background check system, they are no longer able to exercise their Second Amendment right.”
Republicans are employing a rarely used tool to roll back some of the rules issued in the final months of Obama’s tenure. The Congressional Review Act provides a temporary window for a simple majority of both chambers to invalidate the rule. Trump would have to sign the disapproval measure for a regulation to be deemed invalid.
The law also prevents the executive branch from imposing substantially similar regulations in the future.
Rules on fracking, federal contracting and other issues also are in the cross-hairs as the GOP moves to void a host of regulations finalized during Obama’s last months in office.
The election of Trump was nothing less than a deciding moment in the history of our nation. On the one hand was a return to the old, godly ways of our country. The blessings of divinely inspired liberty and guidance. On the other was certain destruction at the hands of those that would take the United States in a land of ungodly and corrupt ways.
Trump’s election has parted the Red Sea for us to cross to the Promised Land on the other side. Now we enforce the laws that come down from God through him. The first commandment of our new glorious age must be to remove all the wickedness from our land. America has suffered at the liberal blight that has weakened our nation and her institutions, and we must cleanse that.
We are a nation of industry; Barack Obama attempted to destroy industry. We must erase that. We are a nation of vast mineral wealth; Barack Obama sought to put that out of reach. We must erase that.
We are a nation that honors its military; Obama put our troops in danger. We must erase that. We are a nation with a deep tradition of firearms; Obama attempted to take them. We must erase that.
So let it be done. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill once it reaches his desk.