Tuesday, January 14, 2020

West Wing Reads 13 Years and 16,000 Pages—It’s Time to Fix It

West Wing Reads

13 Years and 16,000 Pages—It’s Time to Fix It

It took about 5 years from the start of construction to build the Hoover Dam, one of the modern world’s engineering marvels. Today, however, “even modest public works, including roads, bridges and airport runways, can spend years in limbo,” The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

A big culprit: “The National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. That 1970 law requires an environmental study of any major project that involves federal funding or permitting. NEPA hasn’t been overhauled in 40 years.” One 12-mile interstate expansion in Denver took 13 years, with a final report running 8,951 pages—plus 7,307 more in appendix.

President Trump recently proposed a new rule to fix that. “Characterizing the Democratic response as ‘knee jerk’ would be an insult to knees, or jerks, or both,” the editors write.

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“President Donald Trump was welcomed with overwhelming enthusiasm in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Monday night before the college football national title game . . . Trump was shown on the dome's two big boards as he and his wife and first lady, Melania Trump, entered,” Andre Toran and Paul Myerberg report for USA Today.
Deregulation has been an unsung success story of the Trump Administration. This week, “the Labor Department adds its ‘joint employer’ rule to the long list of deregulatory wins . . . The new rule we’re introducing updates one from 1958, which said joint employment exists when two employers are ‘not completely disassociated’ from each other. Little explanation was given for that legal test, leading to uncertainty, unnecessary litigation and divergent standards in different federal courts,” White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia write in The Wall Street Journal.
Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner visits Milwaukee today to discuss skills training for former inmates. “Kushner's visit follows the first anniversary of the First Step Act, legislation aimed at overhauling the criminal justice system in an effort to reduce the number of people in the nation’s prisons and help former inmates rejoin society,” Mary Spicuzza reports for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump travels to Georgia today “to highlight and advance the administration’s work against human trafficking. She intends to tour two facilities on Tuesday that help survivors in downtown Atlanta.” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and other Administration officials will join her, Joshua Sharpe reports in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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