A report released on Oct. 11 by the advocacy group Public Citizen and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) claims that President Donald Trump’s deregulatory agenda could boost the bottom line of his businesses.
The report “Deregulating for Dollars: How Donald Trump’s Reckless Anti-Regulation Agenda Could Boost His Own Pocketbook,” was released to coincide with Cicilline’s introduction of the DRAIN the Swamp Act, intended to “bring transparency to the public on how Trump and top government officials could profit from deregulation.”
The bill, fully named named the “Deter Revolving-door Appointments in our Nation; Stop Washington Appointees from becoming Manipulative Petitioners Act,” amends the federal criminal code to revise post-employment lobbying restrictions on senior executive branch officials and employees.
Specifically, it imposes a five-year ban on communications by a former political appointee with the intent to influence officers or employees at their former executive branch agency or department.
The term political appointee includes certain senior political officials compensated on the Executive Schedule; limited term, limited emergency, and noncareer appointees in the Senior Executive Service; and employees in confidential or policy-determining positions in the excepted service.
The bill also amends the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 to impose a lifetime ban on lobbying by a former political appointee on behalf of a foreign government or foreign political party.
The Public Citizen report details deregulatory actions and proposals by the Trump administration it says “could greatly benefit [the President’s] business and financial interests” and potential conflicts “that point to the need for greater transparency.”
The rules highlighted in Public Citizen’s report that have either been killed or are at risk include:
Environmental Protection Agency rules to protect Americans’ drinking water and ban chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide. Golf course owners are among the business interests opposing both rules, largely because they restrict pesticide use. Trump owns 12 golf courses in the U.S. that could be affected by the drinking water rule.
Department of Labor rules to expand overtime pay and strengthen the rights of workers employed through staffing firms and contractors. Hotel and restaurant owners are among the business interests opposing these rules on the grounds that increasing worker pay will harm businesses’ bottom lines and lead to increased restrictions on workers. A significant portion of the Trump Organization’s 22,450 employees are hotel and restaurant workers.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s collection of pay data to identify and resolve discriminatory pay practices. The Trump Organization, whose demographics are unknown, would have had to comply with the rule.
The Department of Homeland Security’s cap on the number of foreign nationals who can be employed in the U.S. through the H-2B visa program. The same week in July that Congress raised the cap for 2017, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort sought approval to hire 76 new H-2B guest workers.
The report also alleges potential conflicts of interest relating to an affordable housing program from which he and his family profit, and details how he could benefit from restrictions on class-action lawsuits and tax cuts to benefit corporations and the rich.