Federal Government Pushed Harmful Policies as Nation Reeled from Pandemic, Police Brutality

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Since the start of widespread protests following the killing of George Floyd, the Trump administration has been exploiting the nation’s acute focus on the ongoing crises of police brutality, systemic racism, and COVID-19 to quietly push through harmful policies and actions.

The administration’s actions were far-reaching and across federal agencies. Last Monday, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule restricting states’ ability to block construction of oil and gas pipelines that could harm local water sources. By Wednesday, the administration filed a brief in the Supreme Court arguing for discrimination against same-sex couples in adoptions, and on Thursday, Trump signed an executive order waiving key protections in the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act.

“The nation is rightly focused on the ongoing global pandemic, historic unemployment, the need to combat racism and stop murder at the hands of police, and more. At the same time, the Trump administration has jammed through a host of pro-industry policy changes that will help special interests and hurt working Americans,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “These types of major changes shouldn’t happen behind closed doors, with little or no public debate.” 

Other rules and legislation the Trump administration ushered through that you may have missed include:

  • The FCC approved a petition to allow 100% ownership of a broadcasting company by a foreign entity — previous rulings only allowed up to 25% in foreign ownership.
  • The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an agency in the treasury department tasked with regulating banks, issued a rule allowing “rent-a-bank” schemes as a workaround of a previous SCOTUS decision.
  • President Trump signed an executive order to strip media companies’ abilities to combat offensive speech online.
  • The Labor Department loosened regulations to allow 401(k)s to invest in private equity.

A previous NBC News report also examined how Trump’s Cabinet was working to “gut or enforce rules that critics argue are unrelated to the pandemic,” including policies that targeted food assistance programs, labor unions, and environmental protections.

A full report of the dangerous policies and actions can be found here.


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