The Antiregulatory Movement

Since the mid-1980s dissatisfaction with government regulation has grown. In 1994 the newly elected Republican-controlled Congress attempted to strike down a wide variety of federal regulations, including environmental regulations that they considered overly burdensome. Bills were introduced to relax regulations established under the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, the Superfund toxic-waste cleanup program, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and other environmental statutes. Much of that legislation ultimately failed to pass. However, congressional budget cuts for the agencies responsible for carrying out these acts meant that many of the laws were not strongly enforced.

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