The GOP’s Deregulatory Christmas List

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nettsu/4151210703/sizes/z/in/photostream/">nettsu</a>/Flickr

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The Senate is set to take up votes on the Republican and Democratic infrastructure proposals this afternoon, but the GOP has already stuffed their proposal with regulatory rollbacks they know the Democrats will never agree to. 

The GOP proposal contains the REINS Act, which would require a separate vote on economic regulations “with an expected annual economic impact of $100 million or more,” which would, as Ezra Klein noted back in February, “destroy the government’s capacity to pass major regulations,” by adding a major procedural hurdle that sounds like a minor change.

The bill would also restrict the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate pollution under the Clean Air Act, a change which the EPA estimates would lead to 20,000 premature deaths due to adverse health effects from pollution. It also contains the Regulatory Time-Out Act, which would prevent new economic regulations from being put in place for a year, a move Senate Dems view as just a backdoor way for Republicans to forestall Wall Street reform. Obama has actually put in place fewer regulations than Bush at this point in his term, and weak consumer demand rather than excessive regulation is holding back job growth, but why not ask for a pony even if you know you’re not going to get one?

While the GOP proposal contains some funds for infrastructure spending, rather than accept a minor surtax on millionaires it pays for itself by cutting spending so drastically the White House has threatened a veto. This GOP alternative is less a jobs proposal than a deregulatory Christmas list.

UPDATE: Naturally, the Democrats’ bill was filibustered this afternoon.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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