Forget Trump Tweets and Travel Ban, Here's Five Major Moves the Administration Made When You Were Looking Elsewhere

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In a week in which headlines were dominated by Donald Trump's social media attacks on critics and the Supreme Court was ruling on the president's travel ban, Republican lawmakers and administration officials have been busy rolling back Obama-era regulations.

Here’s a run-down of some of last week's big moves by the administration.

Clean Water Legislation

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The Trump administration took a major step on Tuesday towards repealing a law designed to limit pollution in the nation’s waters.


A journalist records a video from screen as Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the first presidential debate with U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, September 26, 2016. Carlos Barria/Reuters

The Waters of the United States, or Wotus bill had extended federal protection afforded to larger bodies of water to rivers and wetlands that flow into them.

However the bill faced opposition from farmers and developers who argued it was an infringement of their property rights, and several states sued the government.

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A judge blocked the legislation and on Tuesday the Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt issued a proposed rule to repeal it.

China Sanctions

After `Trump’s praise for Chinese President Xi Jinping, the relationship between the leaders may be set to sour, after the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on a small Chinese bank Thursday, arguing that it acted as an illegal conduit for North Korean financial activity.

Trump last week tweeted that Chinese efforts to curb North Korea’s nuclear program had not worked, and the move may be a sign that the U.S. is preparing unilateral action against North Korea.

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Nafta Renegotiation

Since taking office, Trump has imposed a series of timber tariffs on northern neighbor Canada, and criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement.

This week, the U.S. Trade Representative hosted a three day public hearing on Nafta, with 140 witnesses quizzed by officials. According to reports, officials were in agreement that renegotiating the agreement would be long and tough.

Labor Reforms

A series of Obama-era labor reforms were targeted by Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta this week: among them an overtime rule that greatly expanded the number of workers eligible for overtime.

The Labor Department told a federal appeals court on Friday that though it had the power to use salaries to set thresholds for mandatory overtime pay, it did not advocate for the $47,500 maximum salary level set by the department under Obama.

The Obama reform was set to expand overtime pay to more than 4 million salaried workers.

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