Above: The Republican Workplace Safety Plan
President Trump and congressional Republicans are poised to roll back a series of Obama-era worker safety regulations targeted by business groups, beginning Monday night with a vote by the Senate to kill a rule that required federal contractors to disclose and correct serious safety violations.
In a narrow result that divided along party lines, the Senate voted 49 to 48 to eliminate the regulation, dubbed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. Finalized in August and blocked by a court order in October, the rule would limit the ability of companies with recent safety problems to complete for government contracts unless they agreed to remedies.
The measure to abolish it had already cleared the House. The next step after the Senate vote will be the White House, where Trump is expected to sign it.
A half-dozen other worker safety regulations are in Republican crosshairs, with one headed to the Senate floor as soon as this week. Many are directed at companies with federal contracts. Such companies employ 1 in 5 American workers — meaning the effort could have wide-ranging effects.
“This is the opening salvo of the Republican’s war on workers,” said Deborah Berkowitz, a senior policy adviser at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when many of the regulations were crafted. “It sends a signal that Congress and the administration is listening to big business and their lobbyists and they are not standing up for the interests of the American workers.”
But hey, Muslims are scary, Obama was born in Kenya, and Trump makes me feel good as a white, so I’m super happy he is going to make it more likely I die at work!