Biden signs three bills to overturn Trump-era rules

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President Joe Biden, joined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., talks in-between signing signs several bills during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington, Wednesday, June 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden signed three separate laws Wednesday that dismantle part of the Trump era, blocking payday lenders from avoiding caps on interest rates, restricting climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas drilling and ending rules on how the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settles claims.

“Each of these rules reflects a return to common sense and a commitment to the common good,” Biden said before the signing, surrounded by congressional leaders who joined him as he turned each resolution into law.

Under former President Donald Trump, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency had enabled payday lenders to charge interest rates in excess of what was allowed by the state. Payday lenders were able to partner with a nationally chartered bank to make high-cost loans and avoid state usury laws.

The Trump administration also loosened rules on methane emissions from leaks and flares in oil and gas wells.

The Biden administration said in a statement that the EEOC claims process had increased “the risk of retaliation by making it easier for employers to demand the identities of those with information about unlawful discrimination.”

The laws were passed by the House and Senate through the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to overturn certain regulations that have been in place for a short time.