Regulatory Action Center Review – January 8, 2021

Welcome to the first Regulatory Action Center (RAC) Review of the new year! RAC proudly keeps you up to date on what we’re up to and what we’re keeping our eyes on here in the swamp. We offer resources for you to get involved in the rulemaking process to hold unelected bureaucrats accountable and occasionally offer praise in the event they have a good impulse. We will also highlight the incredible work our activists have done to advance the principles of smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty, and the rule of law. For more ways to get involved and stay informed, check the links at the bottom of this post.

RACtivists by the Numbers

Last year, RACtivists submitted over 2,800 comments in support of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, the Federal Communications Commission’s replacement for “net neutrality” — the ridiculous term used for treating internet service providers as a public utility. The incoming Biden administration will almost certainly attempt to restore net neutrality, and our RACtivists stand ready to defend internet freedom.

Four Things to Know

1) Dietary Guidelines to Remain Unchanged Following Objections

Back in July, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) submitted their recommendation for the new federal dietary guidelines, drawing the ire of stakeholders across the board. With an unusual lack of scientific rigor, the Committee made several unsubstantiated recommendations, including reducing the recommendation for daily alcohol consumption for men from two drinks to one. Fortunately, many, including professors from Harvard Medical School and a bipartisan group of 28 House Members, raised their serious objections to these changes. FreedomWorks Foundation, too, drove significant action on this issue through our website, dontshrinkourdrinks.com. In a big win demonstrating the power of public comment, the Department of Agriculture determined not to include the unsubstantiated changes recommended by the Committee because of the many objections raised.

More resources on this:

Read more from FreedomWorks on this: HERE

Read the scathing comment from five professors at Harvard Medical School: HERE

Read the full Dietary Guidelines: HERE

2) FDA Reverses Course on Fees for Distilleries Making Sanitizer

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, more than 800 craft distilleries turned their production lines over to produce crucial hand sanitizer that was in short supply. Then, after a historically difficult year for retail and leisure, many of these distillers discovered that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was expecting them to pay over $14,000 in fees for helping their communities. As it turns out, a provision in the CARES Act made it such that anyone who produces hand sanitizer is classified as an “over-the-counter drug monograph facility,” and is thus subject to FDA’s registration fees regardless of the circumstances. Fortunately, as Jacob Grier reported for Reason, “the federal government has reversed course on what would have been a devastating blow to small businesses” due to media coverage and the outpouring of public outrage.

More resources on this:

Read more about how distilleries are helping during the pandemic: HERE

Read more about FDA’s fees: HERE

3) FinCEN Takes Aim at Cryptocurrency in Midnight Hour Ruling

In a recent proposed rule, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is seeking to require banks and other organizations to identify, and keep records of, all individuals who use either hosted or unhosted cryptocurrency wallets. First of all, the process under which this proposed rule was promulgated was horrendous. FinCEN abused emergency powers to shorten the public comment period to 15 days, and intentionally published their notice such that the comment period began right before Christmas and ran through the New Years holidays. To make matters worse, financial regulators could use this rule to establish a system of bulk financial data collection unlike anything seen since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA’s bulk metadata surveillance program.

More resources on this:

Read RAC’s comment opposing this rule: HERE

Read more about the rule from the Electronic Frontier Foundation: HERE

4) President Trump Signs Executive Order on School Choice

Right after Christmas, President Trump delivered a long awaited present for school choice advocates in the form of an Executive Order on Expanding Educational Opportunity Through School Choice. This order allows Federal Community Service Block Grants (CSBG) funds to be used for alternative education, such as special education services, homeschooling, microschooling, and tutoring. This move is a massive step forward for school choice in our country, especially given the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on education.

More resources on this:

Read FreedomWorks’ statement from Laura Zorc: HERE

RAC Resources

You can always find all RAC content (blogs, updates, press releases, and comment campaigns) HERE.

You can always sign up to become an elite RACtivist, if you haven’t already, HERE.

Files:  RAC Review 1_5(1).pdf

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