President Joe Biden signs S.J.Res.14, one of the three Congressional Review Act bills, into law in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, and hands the pen he used to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo
June 30 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden signed into law three congressional review bills on Wednesday that nullify rules implemented by his predecessor that weakened employee protections from workplace discrimination, loosened restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas drilling and allowed for payday lenders to charge high interest rates.
"Each of these bills reflect a return to common sense and commitment to the common good, and I want to thank every one of you for your leadership in getting this done," he said during a signing ceremony in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Biden signed bills S.J. Res. 13, S.J.Res. 14 and S.J.Res. 15 after they passed the Democratic-controlled House late last month mostly along party lines and earlier the divided Senate by even narrower margins.
The signing of the bills continues Biden's attempts to undo certain policies implemented by the administration of President Donald Trump as he has already taken action to unwrite several of his key immigration laws.
The bills signed on Wednesday seek to reinstate greater protections for workers, the environment and consumers, Biden said.
The first bill, S. J. Res. 13 nullifies a rule implemented by the Republican-chaired Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the Trump administration said provided "greater transparency and consistency" but which the Biden administration argued armed employers with "greater ability to demand the identities of discrimination victims and witnesses."
"That last administration put in place a rule that makes it harder for those seeking redress for job discrimination to get justice," Biden said. "With this law, we're going to move in the direction of greater accountability, fairness and justice."
The second bill, S. J. Res. 14, expresses disapproval and nullifies actions by the Trump administration concerning companies drilling for oil and gas and the amount of methane allowed to escape into the atmosphere.
"This is an important first step of cutting methane pollution," he said.
The third bill, S. J. Res. 15, voids a rule by the Office of the Comptroller under the Trump administration that allowed payday lenders to partner with banks to circumvent interests limits, permitting rates of up to 100%.
"These are so-called 'rent-a-bank' schemes," Biden explained. "And they allow lenders to prey on veterans, seniors and other unsuspecting borrowers trapping them into a cycle of debt. And the last administration let it happen, but we won't."
Biden signed S. J. Res 15 with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Sen. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Rep. Chuy Garcia, D-Ill., looking on.
"Great day today!" Garcia, who sponsored that bill, said following the ceremony via Twitter. "A win for consumers and working class communities!