Capitol Correspondence - 06.03.19

White House Pressures DOL to Accelerate De-Regulation

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ANCOR is sharing this article by Bloomberg Law because it is important for our members to be informed of the broader political environment that affects the regulatory space in which they operate. The Department of Labor’s regulations covers all workforces, including the disability supports workforce.

As shared by Bloomberg Law:

“President Donald Trump‘s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, has seized power over the Labor Department’s rulemaking process out of frustration with the pace of deregulation under Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, according to current and former department officials and other people who communicate with the administration.

Upon arriving at the West Wing in January, Mulvaney instituted a formalized system for settling regulatory policy and timeline disputes between White House assistants and Acosta’s top aides, said people with direct knowledge of the process.

Conflicts are elevated to Mulvaney for a final decision, said one official with direct knowledge. Acosta and his staff have been losing these decisions so often that they’ve stopped bothering to appeal, said current and former DOL officials.

This has led to an acceleration of previously languishing rules on overtime pay, job training, and workplace safety that businesses have sought during the first two years of Trump’s administration. The White House intervention also signals more contentious regulations—such as rules to bolster union oversight or restrict workers from taking medical leave—could now be in the pipeline at a department that appears less likely to embody its secretary’s risk-averse style for the remainder of Trump’s presidency.


The administration’s semiannual regulatory calendar published May 22 revealed the department plans to initiate more deregulatory moves that conservatives and businesses had been pining for—previously to no avail—since Acosta took control of the agency in spring 2017.

A proposal implementing Trump’s 2017 executive order to streamline and expand the federal apprenticeship system is estimated for release next month and is under final review at the White House.

There were several additional deregulatory actions and other previously unannounced plans posted to the rulemaking slate, including a proposal to give employers more flexibility in how they compensate workers; a request for input on modifying the Family and Medical Leave Act; a regulation that would modernize quality control of the federal-state unemployment insurance system; and an update to how unions are audited.”