(Recasts with White House comment, adds reaction paragraphs
WASHINGTON Feb 8 The White House defended the
president's executive order to U.S. agencies to rescind two
government regulations for every new rule introduced, after
several advocacy groups filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging
the Trump administration over the move.
The National Resources Defense Council, Communications
Workers of America, and Public Citizen said in their lawsuit
that the Jan. 30 order would harm the public.
They said it would "block or force the repeal of regulations
needed to protect health, safety, and the environment, across a
broad range of topics - from automobile safety, to occupational
health, to air pollution, to endangered species."
The White House defended the order, saying that it was part
of the administration's efforts to help companies create jobs
and that the groups are making assumptions about the order's
"The lawsuit presumes a lot of outcomes that are wildly
inaccurate," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters at
a daily press briefing. He added that over-regulation has hurt
economic growth and that reviewing regulations should be
The order does not apply to most of the financial reform
rules introduced by the Obama administration or to rules
mandated by statutes.
Republican President Donald Trump's order is a part of his
party's larger effort to undo many of the actions of former
President Barack Obama, a Democrat who left office last month
after two four-year terms.
In Congress, conservative lawmakers have already moved to
stamp out five Obama-era rules on corruption, the environment,
labor and guns.
Companies have lauded the effort to deregulate, saying it
will help boost their businesses and the larger U.S. economy. On
Wednesday, Tokyo-based SoftBank Group Corp, whose chief
executive has backed Trump's efforts, said easing rules will
make it easier to do business in the United States.
In addition to Trump, Wednesday's lawsuit in U.S. District
Court for the District of Columbia named federal departments and
agencies, particularly those with jurisdiction over
environmental, transportation and energy issues.
The groups argued that Trump overstepped his constitutional
power and that the order "directs federal agencies to engage in
unlawful actions that will harm countless Americans, including
(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Roberta Rampton and Joseph Ax;
editing by Grant McCool and Phil Berlowitz)