Almost immediately after taking office, President Trump ordered all federal agencies to form teams to review and remove government regulations but a full vetting of team members’ industry connections has been nearly impossible because some government agencies have refused to provide any information about the appointees serving on these teams, including their names, report Danielle Ivory and Robert Faturechi.
On Monday, four top Democratic members of Congress — Gerald E. Connolly, Elijah E. Cummings, John Conyers Jr. and David Cicilline — wrote a letter to the White House asking the Trump administration to release the names of all regulatory team members as well as all documents relating to their potential conflicts of interest.
The congressmen were more than a little troubled by a recent investigation by The Times and ProPublica which revealed that lawyers who represented businesses in court cases against government regulators, staff members of political dark money groups and employees of industry-funded organizations opposed to environmental rules made up a majority of the members on the deregulation teams.
“The deregulation teams are part of Mr. Trump’s push to cut red tape across government, and they have presented a new avenue for industries to shed rules they have argued for years are hurting profits, depressing job creation and raising prices,” notes The Times.
Environmental and consumer and groups, on the other hand, have argued that an overwhelming majority of these regulations protect the public, and for example, keep drinking water clean and roads safe.