CSS Opposes Deregulation as a Response to the Pandemic

April 23, 2020 | Download PDF

Russell T. Vought
Acting Director
U.S. Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20503

Dear Mr. Vought,

The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards strongly opposes any executive action aimed at suspending existing regulatory protections or accelerating deregulation or nonenforcement policies in response to the pandemic.

In this time of crisis, strong and effective regulations to protect frontline workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect the public’s health and safety are more important than ever. Any federal policy to suspend regulatory enforcement would provide no help to the millions of unemployed Americans, actual small business owners, COVID victims and their families. In many cases, doing away with public protections will exacerbate the harm brought on by the virus.

The Trump administration’s plan is premised on the false notion that public health and safety regulations are a barrier to building a vibrant, resilient economy. The opposite is true; sustainable economic growth comes when government action protects workers and the environment. And in a moment of public health crisis and uncertainty, those protections are crucial.

Rather than using the pandemic to advance partisan, ideological, and corporate-driven policy goals that long predate this pandemic, the Trump administration must concentrate on real solutions vetted by public health experts and based on science and evidence, especially worker protections, adequate testing and tracing measures. Instead of continuing to hollow out federal agencies, the administration must let expert public health experts and career government officials do their jobs. Successfully tackling the coronavirus requires well-functioning government agencies funded and equipped to carry out their missions, not policies that will undermine them.

We vigorously urge you to oppose any attempts to suspend or limit enforcement of public safeguards, including blanket nonenforcement policies that evade accountability and transparency standards. We will hold the administration and its allies accountable for any attempts to use the pandemic as a false excuse to sacrifice regulations that protect the public.

Sincerely,

Robert Weissman
President, Public Citizen
Co-chair, Coalition for Sensible Safeguards

Jack Gillis
Executive Director, Consumer Federation of America
Co-chair, Coalition for Sensible Safeguards