Top WH lawyer details Trump admin's 'larger plan' to shrink regulatory state

White House counsel Don McGahn offered his take Thursday on the Trump administration's efforts to slash regulations, ...

Posted: Feb 23, 2018 2:03 AM
Updated: Feb 23, 2018 2:03 AM

White House counsel Don McGahn offered his take Thursday on the Trump administration's efforts to slash regulations, from court appointments to repealing rules.

McGahn, in rare public remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, said "it's part of a larger plan" that President Donald Trump appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, talking up Gorsuch's record criticizing deference to the authority of government agencies and the legacy Trump is working to establish in the nation's courts.

McGahn plays a leading role in recommending judicial nominees to the President, and he said part of their interview process for prospective candidates involves getting a sense of their "views on administrative law."

Asked about an order from Trump to cut two regulations for every new one, McGahn talked up the administration's efforts and claimed the real ratio was apparently "22 to one." Politifact said earlier this month that the 22-1 claim was "mostly false" and that the administration was not making an apples-to-apples comparison on rules imposed versus those repealed.

McGahn also touted the GOP's use of the Congressional Review Act to rescind several Obama-era regulations, including one aimed at preventing coal mining waste from entering waterways and another intended to make it easier to sue banks and credit card companies.

"Congress rightly struck a number of regulations," McGahn said.

He called on Congress to legislate more and to do so in a way that would not leave major decisions up to executive agencies, and he said when authority is rested in government agencies instead of Congress, "decisions tend to trend to the left."

McGahn likewise called on Congress to conduct vast oversight of the executive branch, noting that while it might seem counterintuitive for the White House counsel to make that suggestion, he thought such oversight was worthwhile to ensure agencies are executing laws as intended.

"They ought to do that," McGahn said. "Not just do the sort of oversight that gets headlines, but do oversight that really gets into the nitty-gritty of how laws are being implemented."

McGahn's appearance at the annual conservative event came as his name continues to fall in the center of drama rocking the White House, from the Russia investigation to the handling of domestic abuse allegations against recently departed White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

While those issues went unmentioned during the brief appearance Thursday afternoon, Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, who was interviewing McGahn, did note McGahn's job involves him "in just about everything."

"Unfortunately yes," McGahn responded wryly.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36287

Reported Deaths: 1249
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds299254
DeSoto195920
Madison148439
Jones122449
Harrison117716
Rankin112619
Neshoba104677
Forrest103843
Lauderdale96681
Scott82415
Jackson79819
Washington73713
Copiah67016
Leake63420
Lee62822
Oktibbeha61928
Grenada6049
Warren60021
Holmes59541
Lamar5837
Wayne56519
Yazoo5607
Lowndes54817
Leflore53456
Lincoln53335
Lafayette5064
Pike50520
Sunflower5048
Monroe46135
Panola4546
Covington4465
Simpson4433
Bolivar41218
Tate39213
Attala38624
Newton37610
Adams35820
Pontotoc3556
Marion34512
Claiborne30811
Pearl River30332
Winston30111
Chickasaw30019
Marshall2923
Jasper2816
Noxubee2799
Walthall2708
Clay26111
Union25412
Smith25212
Coahoma2306
Clarke22325
Lawrence2132
Yalobusha2089
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18211
Montgomery1793
Calhoun1705
Humphreys16910
Hancock14813
Itawamba1478
Tippah14611
Webster13411
Jefferson1283
Prentiss1274
Jefferson Davis1254
Tunica1253
George1233
Greene11610
Amite1123
Alcorn1072
Tishomingo1061
Quitman1011
Wilkinson989
Perry914
Stone772
Choctaw764
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton470
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 54768

Reported Deaths: 1096
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6746170
Mobile4904140
Montgomery4547112
Tuscaloosa269053
Madison22689
Marshall198011
Shelby169125
Lee159637
Morgan13385
Baldwin127711
Walker107532
Elmore106721
Etowah101114
Dallas10029
DeKalb9677
Franklin93816
Autauga69815
Russell6860
Unassigned67928
Chambers67730
Butler65229
Limestone6393
Tallapoosa63069
Cullman6156
Houston6077
Lauderdale5776
St. Clair5443
Calhoun5155
Colbert5096
Escambia4888
Lowndes48422
Pike4795
Jackson4352
Coffee4284
Covington41612
Talladega4017
Barbour3992
Dale3951
Bullock37810
Hale35423
Marengo35411
Chilton3312
Blount3201
Clarke3176
Wilcox3038
Winston2995
Sumter29213
Marion29014
Pickens2746
Randolph2639
Monroe2603
Perry2502
Conecuh2318
Bibb2241
Macon2199
Choctaw21712
Greene1989
Henry1553
Washington1488
Lawrence1360
Crenshaw1323
Cherokee1247
Geneva980
Lamar891
Clay852
Fayette851
Coosa661
Cleburne451
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