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President Trump will host an event Thursday at the White House to tout his administration’s efforts on deregulation – a day after he announced sweeping rollbacks to the environmental review process for largescale infrastructure projects.
While it is unclear if Trump plans to announce new deregulation efforts during the event, White House officials pushed back on the idea that it would be a campaign-style event.
“We’re going to be celebrating with a bit of a victory lap on exactly what that vision for less government and more opportunity has done for all Americans, but especially for those Americans with the least among us,” a senior administration official told Fox News.
The president faced criticism from opponents for a news conference he gave earlier this week at the White House that was intended to highlight new actions taken against China. Trump started by announcing that he was signing legislation and an executive order targeting Beijing for their actions in Hong Kong, but the press conference quickly shifted gears as the president took heated digs at presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Trump, however, stayed mostly on script Wednesday when he announced a new federal rule to cut out bureaucratic red tape and speed up environmental review processes for proposed highways, gas pipelines and other major infrastructure.
The rule, which Trump unveiled at a UPS facility in Atlanta, is expected to make it easier to meet some of the country’s infrastructure needs, but has been described by critics as the dismantling of a 50-year-old environmental protection law.
“This is a big moment,” he said. “Our bridge, tunnels and freeways will no longer be a place of shame, but a source of pride.”
Critics call the Republican president’s efforts a cynical attempt to limit the public’s ability to review, comment on and influence proposed projects under the National Environmental Policy Act, one of the country’s bedrock environmental protection laws.
“President Trump is taking a jackhammer to the foundation of environmental protections in our country,” Lara Levison, the senior federal policy director at the environmental group Oceana, said in a statement to Fox News. “President Trump is weakening our voices and our right to express concerns. Anyone that values our environment should be outraged by these expected changes.”
Fox News’ Blake Burman contributed to this report.