When President Trump was first elected, he promised that he would eliminate two regulations for every new one that is implemented.
‘I will formulate a rule which says that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.’
On Wednesday, Senate Republicans proved that they are on board with this promise when they voted to pass a resolution that would overturn an Obama-era retirement regulation.
The regulation they rejected would allow states to create retirement accounts for low-income workers who do not have retirement plans through their jobs. The House had already voted to overturn the regulation prior to the Senate’s vote.
Senate Republicans were eager to follow suit, citing the rule as an example of federal overreach.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) claimed during his remarks that the Obama administration had negatively affected the middle class with this and other regulations:
‘Under the guise of helping more people save for the future, it undercut a system of private retirement savings that has served millions of Americans very well for decades. It introduced regulations that would push more and more Americans into government-run retirement plans. These retirement savings regulations are classic case of the whole being worse [than] the sum of its parts.’
McConnell also spoke about “liberating the states” from the Obama administration’s burdensome regulations and said that, by overturning these rules, the Senate would be protecting workers.
‘We will take a vote today to protect workers should big-city governments try to force their private sector employees to auto-enroll in government-run savings plans.’
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) expressed concerns about such regulations imposing “conflicting and burdensome mandates on private sector businesses.” He also lauded the current private retirement savings system as “one of the clearest example we have to demonstrate the superiority of the free market over government mandates.”
Senate Republicans faced pushback from many of their Democratic colleagues, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts).
Senator Warren argued that Republicans have not yet produced any “original legislation” that would help working families — including the “55 million Americans who don’t have access to a workplace retirement account.” Instead, Warren said, Republicans have been too busy rolling back regulations and making life easier for oil companies and other big corporations.
Warren went on to say that years have gone by without any action from congressional Republicans that would help Americans who do not have employer-provided retirement plans and that, as a result of this inaction, “[Seven] states have passed legislation to provide retirement accounts to their constituents.”
She also pointed out that “23 others are considering proposals.”
Despite the efforts of Warren and other Senate Democrats, though, the resolution was still passed 50-49.
Watch a clip from Senator McConnell’s address on the Senate floor in the video below, via YouTube:
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.