- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The White House confirmed Wednesday that President Trump will sign legislation overturning an Obama administration rule that currently prevents states from blocking federal grants to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood.

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said the move will be one of the final actions by President Trump to roll back Obama-era regulations by using the Congressional Review Act. By law, Mr. Trump’s ability to use the previously obscure tool expires on April 28.

Vice President Mike Pence provided the tie-breaking vote last week in the Senate to approve legislation which allows states to withhold Title X family planning funds from providers that also offer abortion services. The federal funding to states amounts to about $300 million annually.

Late last year, Mr. Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule that prohibited states from withholding Title X money from providers such as Planned Parenthood.

The new legislation overturns the HHS rule by using the CRA, a 1996 law that allows Congress to repeal new regulations within 60 days of their passage.

So far, Mr. Trump has already used the CRA 11 times to repeal Obama regulations, ranging from an Interior Department regulation on stream protection near coal-fired power plants, to restricting hunting on federal lands.

“We inherited, this administration did, the biggest regulatory burden, we believe, of any president in American history,” Mr. Short said. “I think this is a huge accomplishment in the first quarter.”

Previously, only one other president, George W. Bush, had used the CRA to repeal a regulation by a prior administration. Mr. Short said the moves by Mr. Trump will save taxpayers an estimated $10 billion.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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