Joe Biden’s Wild Week Of Regulations: A Full List | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

This article is a part of HuffPost’s biweekly politics publication. Click right here to subscribe.

President Joe Biden could have simply had one of the vital productive weeks of his presidency, though it’s not clear what number of Americans seen ― or what number of grasp what it says in regards to the stakes of the November election.

In the span of lower than 5 days, the Biden administration issued greater than a half-dozen main laws with the potential to have an effect on many thousands and thousands of Americans and, arguably, the way forward for the planet as nicely.

None of those bulletins got here as a shock. All of the brand new laws are last variations of guidelines which have been within the works for years. The impetus for rolling them out this week is the calendar and a regulation known as the Congressional Review Act, which supplies Congress a number of months’ time to rescind new guidelines the White House implements.

By issuing these new guidelines now, the Biden administration is defending them from the Congress that takes workplace in January 2025 ― i.e., after the subsequent election, when Republicans hostile to those laws may acquire management of each chambers.

But finalizing the foundations now remains to be no assure they’ll keep on the books. If Donald Trump turns into president, he may difficulty new laws that reverse Biden’s. The course of would take a while, however it could be nicely inside his powers. Biden did the identical to a lot of Trump’s laws upon taking workplace, simply as Trump as soon as did to Barack Obama’s.

Trump may additionally resume his undertaking of packing the courts with conservatives on a mission to shrink the regulatory state. As it’s, a number of of Biden’s new guidelines may not survive scrutiny from the Supreme Court, the place a (now) 6-to-3 conservative majority has been hacking away on the government department’s leeway to make guidelines on every thing from air pollution to client security. In a federal judiciary with much more Trump appointees, the foundations would face even steeper odds.

All of which implies the way forward for these new laws is dependent upon who wins the presidential election. But that’s not the one motive they need to be a part of voters’ calculus come November.

The new guidelines additionally say quite a bit about Biden’s priorities ― in regards to the issues dealing with the American public, and the way he thinks the federal authorities may help resolve them. A second Biden time period would presumably imply nonetheless extra guidelines like those the administration introduced this week.

Is {that a} good factor? A nasty factor? Somewhere in between?

The reply is dependent upon what you concentrate on regulation typically, as nicely these new guidelines particularly. And it’s fairly an inventory:

On Monday, the administration required nursing houses to satisfy new staffing requirements. It additionally expanded well being document privateness guidelines in order that they defend details about abortion.

On Tuesday, the administration made thousands and thousands of recent staff eligible for time beyond regulation pay and, individually, gave retirees new protections from predatory funding recommendation.

On Wednesday, the administration compelled airways to start out issuing refunds for flight cancellations and lengthy delays.

On Thursday, the administration introduced new limits on energy plant emissions and raised the power effectivity requirements for brand spanking new houses. It additionally issued stronger diet necessities for the meals youngsters get at public colleges.

Energy’s affect on the planet — and your payments at dwelling

The energy plant emission guidelines are among the many most far-reaching, as a result of they might play such a vital function in efforts to sluggish world warming. As HuffPost’s Alexander Kaufman explains in his evaluation, the brand new guidelines are designed to work in tandem with inexperienced power subsidies from the Inflation Reduction Act, the sweeping local weather regulation that Democrats handed and Biden signed in 2022:

Paired with the billions of {dollars} in carrots for manufacturing, constructing and shopping for fashionable power tools that got here with President Joe Biden’s landmark climate-spending legal guidelines, the foundations chart a path for the U.S. to keep away from practically 1.4 billion metric tons of carbon air pollution by way of 2047. That’s equal to taking 328 million gasoline-fueled vehicles off the street or a full yr of emissions from the U.S. electrical energy sector right now.

The emission limits are a part of a broader bundle that embody guidelines streamlining the allowing course of for transmission traces, decreasing a few of the crimson tape that’s made it troublesome to construct the grid infrastructure to extend using renewable power.

The last model consists of some concessions to utilities and different conventional opponents of emission laws. Among different issues, the emission guidelines apply to new pure gasoline crops however to not present ones, following objections from utilities. But that doesn’t imply the critics are glad. Republicans and their allies have denounced the foundations as job-killers, with officers from West Virginia, one of many nation’s prime coal-producing states, main the cost ― and promising lawsuits too.

“We will be challenging this rule,” vowed West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on Earth Day at Prince William Forest Park on April 22, 2024 in Triangle, Virginia.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on Earth Day at Prince William Forest Park on April 22, 2024 in Triangle, Virginia.

Andrew Harnik through Getty Images

As Alex notes in his article, administration officers assume they’ve written the brand new guidelines in methods that may survive even the brand new, stricter checks for laws the Supreme Court has laid out.

The identical goes for an additional massive new local weather rule: a plan to lift the development requirements for brand spanking new houses that qualify for federal housing loans. It sounds wonky, however as Alex particulars in a separate article, there’s big quantities of cash at stake. Every time excessive warmth waves hit, demand for air con spikes — and with power costs have roller-coastered ever since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Americans’ excellent debt to utility surged to a document of over $20 billion final yr.

Like the ability plant rule, the housing necessities have already drawn blowback from Republicans in Congress and will simply draw Trump’s consideration in a second time period, given his frequent assaults on something related to inexperienced power.

When extra work doesn’t imply extra pay

Similar threats loom for the brand new time beyond regulation guidelines — which, as HuffPost’s Dave Jamieson defined this week, are designed to assist low-income staff who haven’t been in a position to gather time beyond regulation pay as a result of they’re salaried.

Most hourly staff are entitled to time-and-a-half pay once they log over 40 hours, which discourages employers from working them an excessive amount of. But whether or not salaried staff can get time beyond regulation pay is dependent upon how a lot they earn and what their job duties are. Employers have an incentive to pile work onto these with out time beyond regulation protections, for the reason that further work is completed basically totally free.

The present time beyond regulation wage threshold is simply $35,568 … Salaried staff, corresponding to retail retailer managers, should earn lower than that quantity to routinely be entitled to any extra pay once they work greater than 40 hours.

“This rule will restore the promise to workers that if you work more than 40 hours in a week, you should be paid more for that time,” Julie Su, performing Labor Secretary, mentioned in a press release.

The new guidelines symbolize the second latest try by a Democratic administration to make extra salaried staff eligible for time beyond regulation pay. Obama tried to do the identical factor in 2016. Then a federal decide blocked the rule, and Trump later put in place the present, weaker normal.

 Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su speaks on April 10, 2024 in Washington, D.C.
Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su speaks on April 10, 2024 in Washington, D.C.

Shannon Finney through Getty Images

Republicans haven’t jumped to oppose the time beyond regulation guidelines like they’ve the emission limits, maybe as a result of higher pay for extra staff sounds interesting even to many Republican voters.

But enterprise teams to whom Republicans often hear have made clear they oppose these necessities, warning that they’ll power corporations to lift costs, fireplace staff or shutter altogether — and that small companies particularly can be susceptible, as a result of they’re least in a position to take up new prices.

Sean Kennedy, a spokesman for the National Restaurant Association, advised CNN the brand new guidelines would “exponentially increase” prices for small institutions.

A Start On Nursing Home Reform

Critics of the Biden administration are additionally elevating the specter of upper costs, layoffs and closures in response to the brand new nursing dwelling laws.

The guidelines set a minimal for the variety of direct care staffers relative to the variety of residents. Although the federal authorities has lengthy required nursing houses to take care of enough employees, that is the primary time it has established a numerical normal.

The rule follows by way of on a promise Biden made within the 2022 State of the Union in response to media reviews about poor situations in nursing houses, particularly through the pandemic, together with analysis linking staffing ranges to affected person well-being.

More than 80% of nursing houses don’t meet the brand new normal, in accordance with an evaluation from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan well being care analysis group. Nursing dwelling business officers say the price of including employees will push some amenities previous the brink of failure.

But advocates for senior residents and different longtime proponents of nursing dwelling care reform are skeptical of the business’s arguments, citing widespread reviews of how for-profit corporations that personal long-term care amenities use inventive accounting to conceal earnings.

These advocates additionally level to proof from states which have acted on their very own.

“When states have adopted minimum staffing standards — and many states have them, Massachusetts has one, California too ― it hasn’t put nursing homes out of business,” David Grabowski, a Harvard well being coverage skilled and longtime champion for nursing dwelling care reform, mentioned in a telephone interview. “I do think there’s money in the system here.”

But advocates had pushed for even increased requirements than the administration in the end endorsed. And some, like Richard Mollot, government director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, mentioned he worries nursing houses will interpret the brand new minimal as a most, making a “race to the bottom” as better-staffed establishments lay off staff.

Others have questioned a few of the regulation’s specifics, together with the way in which it allocates hours amongst various kinds of direct care staff.

A Contrast In Priorities ― And On The Ballot

But among the many longtime advocates for stronger nursing dwelling regulation, even these involved in regards to the Biden guidelines keep in mind what occurred again when Trump was in cost. The agenda was very totally different.

“They cut back on enforcement [[of existing nursing home standards]], anything that Obama did, they pulled back,” Toby Edelman, senior coverage lawyer on the Center for Medicare Advocacy, advised me .

And whereas there’s no technique to understand how aggressively the federal authorities would implement these new guidelines if Biden will get a second time period, Edelman mentioned his give attention to nursing dwelling high quality suggests these reforms are an enormous deal to him. “They are trying, the administration is trying,” she mentioned.

You may say the identical factor about Biden’s consideration to staff ineligible for time beyond regulation, or to the local weather risks of soiled power, and even to one thing as quotidian because the disruptions from canceled airline flights. Whatever the final word deserves of those strikes, as coverage or regulation, they present Biden believes these are issues are price addressing. It’s yet another factor voters may wish to take into account in November.