Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration appear to share a straightforward philosophy on regulatory reform: “regulation bad, deregulation good.” Presidential adviser Steve Bannon, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference this week, said one of the administration's three top priorities is the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”
Three radical bills already passed by the House of Representatives, and awaiting approval by the Senate, show how Bannon could get his wish. It is harder to put a human face on this agenda than on the Trump travel ban, but it is just as perverse. Many decades of executive-legislative collaboration have resulted in thousands of regulations that help to safeguard the environment, manage the economy, protect students, workers, and consumers against discrimination, and much more. No doubt some regulations can be usefully updated or even repealed, but modern life is unimaginable without the protections of government regulation.