Trump Stands to Personally Benefit From Deregulation: Report

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By Cheryl Bolen

President Donald Trump stands to personally profit from his deregulatory agenda and in some instances, the president’s financial interests conflict with protecting the public, according to a report released Oct. 11 by Public Citizen and Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.).

Cicilline also introduced a bill Oct. 11 that he said could expose how Trump and top government officials could profit from deregulation.

“The American people deserve to know that the president is acting in the public interest, not in his own financial interests,” Cicilline said in a statement.

Golf course owners, for example, are among the business interests opposing Environmental Protection Agency rules to protect clean water and ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, marketed to golf courses by Dow Chemical, the report said. Trump owns 12 golf courses in the U.S. that would be affected by the rules, it said.

The White House didn’t respond to requests by Bloomberg BNA for comment on the report.

Ownership Ties a Problem

Trump’s refusal to cede ownership of his businesses means the president can personally profit from overturning environmental, worker, health, and financial rules, the report said.

The conflicts of interest stem from Trump’s refusal to divest from his multibillion-dollar business holdings after taking office, the report said. Instead, Trump maintains his ownership stake in his businesses, setting the stage for unprecedented opportunities for the president to profit by repealing regulations, it said.

One example is the administration’s support for overturning the Department of Labor’s expanded overtime pay rule, which would have required employers to pay overtime to people who earn up to $47,476 per year and work more than 40 hours in a week.

“While it is impossible to know how many of the Trump Organization’s purported 22,450 employees would have been impacted by the new rule, hotel and restaurant associations opposed it,” the report said.

DRAIN the Swamp Act

Cicilline named his bill the Determining if Regulatory Actions are in the Interest of the Nation or the Swamp Act of 2017, or the DRAIN the Swamp Act.

The legislation would require the head of each agency to submit to the Government Accountability Office an “assessment and quantification of any regulatory conflict of interest pertaining to that major rule.”

“Donald Trump promised to drain the swamp. But that’s not what he’s doing. He’s undermining regulations in order to benefit himself, his family, and his close friends,” said Cicilline, ranking member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law.

Supporters of the bill include Democratic Reps. John Conyers (Mich.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), Gerald Connolly (Va.), and Lloyd Doggett (Texas), Cicilline said on Twitter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cheryl Bolen in Washington at cbolen@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at pHendrie@bna.com

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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