In 2016 the government proposed a requirement that new, heavy trucks have potentially life-saving software that would electronically limit speeds. It has been delayed indefinitely by the Transportation Department as part of a retreat from various regulations.

The Associated Press reports that Trump’s first year in office shows that a dozen safety rules under development or already adopted have been repealed, withdrawn, delayed or put on the back burner. [AP]

The U.S. Department of the Treasury intends to scrap nearly 300 tax rules in keeping with President Donald Trump’s executive order to cut back on regulatory burdens. [Public Policy Law360, 2/13/18]

The 2019 Trump budget proposes to cut the funding of 11 departments and agencies and raises the budgets of 7 departments and agencies.

The EPA and Small Business Administration are the entities with highest percentage of cuts and Veterans Affairs is the agency whose budget has grown by the greatest percentage. (These numbers do not include mandatory spending programs like Medicare and food stamps.)

– 25% EPA
– 25% Small Business
– 23% State Department
– 18% Transportation
– 15% Agriculture
– 15% Interior
– 14% HUD
– 10% Labor
– 5% Education
– 3% Treasury
– 1% Justice
+ 1% NASA
+ 2% Energy
+ 6% Commerce
+ 11% HHS
+ 12% DHS
+ 14% Defense
+ 15% Veterans Affairs

Among other things, the proposed budget will freeze federal pay in 2019. The government will pay less and federal employees pay more toward their retirement and reduce the interest rate on a popular investment vehicle, the Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees. [WP, 2/12 and 2/14/18]

President Donald Trump’s March 5 deadline to wind down the DACA program arrived Monday, largely mooted by federal court injunctions. But the lives of thousands of DREAMers could still be upended, POLITICO’s Ted Hesson reports.

“The problem arises chiefly from the Department of Homeland Security’s refusal to prioritize those DACA renewals due to expire soonest,” writes Hesson. “Instead, the applications are being processed in the order in which they were filed. Consequently, many so-called Dreamers who’ve applied to renew will see their DACA protections expire before DHS acts, increasing their risk of being fired from their jobs or, possibly, being arrested and deported.” [Politico, 3/6/18]

The Trump administration has proposed raising entry fees at our most popular parks by as much as 180%. Apparently there is not enough money to maintain our public lands after passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut. [Ron Wyden, 2/18/18]

Despite being allocated $120 million since 2015 to oppose foreign efforts to interfere in American elections, the State Department has spent $0 of that. At the current time, zero of the 23 analysts in the Global Engagement Center assigned to counter Russian misinformation campaigns speak Russian.
Tillerson has voiced skepticism that the United States is even capable of countering the Russian threat. “If it’s their intention to interfere, they’re going to find ways to do that,” Mr. Tillerson said in an interview last month with Fox News. “And we can take steps we can take, but this is something that once they decide they are going to do it, it’s very difficult to pre-empt it.” [NYT]

The Trump administration has drafted new rules making it harder for current
foreigners in the United States who receive tax-funded public benefits, to obtain permanent residency. The proposed rules by DHS would be used “to determine if they could become a public burden.” This would be a departure from current long standing policy of not using the benefits a foreigner uses to determine how eligible they would be for U.S. citizenship. [The Daily Beast, 2/8/18]

The Department of Homeland Security under the leadership of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, has said it is considering separating parents from their children as a means of deterring other families, most of them Central American, from undertaking the perilous trip necessary to reach the United States and seek asylum.

In a particular case cited in a Washington Post editorial on 3/5/18, a 7 year old girl was separated from her mother. There is no evidence that the child or her mother is a terrorist or otherwise dangerous. The mother is being held at a detention center in San Diego and the little girl at a detention center in Chicago. Mother and child could have been detained together in a family detention center.

The administration is moving to give restaurants and other employers more control over workers tips. Under the new proposal, employers could use workers tips for essentially any purpose, as long as the workers were directly paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The Labor Department estimated that the rule would affect about one million waiters and waitresses and over 200,000 bartenders. Workers in other industries like hairstylists and manicurists would also be affected. [NYT, 2/4/18]

The recent tax cuts are affecting America’s balance sheet. The Treasury Department projects that the government will borrow $955 billion this fiscal year, up from $519 billion borrowed last year. [WP, 2/5/18]