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By Chris Opfer
July 7 — Donald Trump is likely to take up the Republican Party's agenda on workforce issues if elected to the White House, a pair of House labor committee members told Bloomberg BNA.
Fresh from a House Republican meeting with the party's presumptive presidential nominee, Reps. John Kline (R-Minn.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) said July 7 that Trump criticized the Obama administration for overregulating business.
Trump also pledged to support House Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) agenda, which includes rolling back various labor regulations, according to the lawmakers.
“He understands very well that we are under a regulatory blizzard that is really crushing jobs,” said Kline, chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee. “He gets that completely.”
Republicans have been largely unified in their opposition to President Barack Obama's labor initiatives, including expanding overtime pay eligibility for workers and bolstering protections for federal contractor employees.
Although Trump has veered to the left on trade and some foreign relations questions, the meeting was largely seen as an effort to assure GOP lawmakers that he stands with them on many of their most significant issues.
Roe, chairman of an Education and the Workforce subcommittee, told reporters he got the sense that many House GOP members who have been skeptical of Trump are starting to come around.
That's because Trump said during the hourlong meeting that he was committed to undoing many of the Obama administration's executive orders. The presumptive nominee also made clear that he intends to appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court, according to Roe.
“He talked about how it could be three or four members of the court—and he's correct about that—that the next president may be able to nominate,” Roe said. “He's made the rounds with the conservative organizations and tried to find conservative jurists that he might nominate.”
Meanwhile, Ryan told reporters that Trump signaled his support for pending legislation that would require Congress to approve all proposed regulations before they go into effect ( H.R. 427, S. 226). That measure passed in the House last year.
“I think he did a great job engaging with our members, and I think our members appreciated it,” Ryan said. “We clearly have a presumptive nominee who wants to work with us on moving this agenda forward.”
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