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A 2013 Metro North train derailment in the Bronx that left four dead. Photo: NTSB via Getty Images

The Department of Transportation under President Trump has decided to indefinitely delay or withdraw at least 12 regulations designed to increase safety, per an AP report. The moves come as the Trump administration decided to make a significant push toward deregulation — with Trump often touting those cuts as one of the primary examples of his first year in office.

Why it matters: The stalled regulations are often to the benefit of transportation industries — as they don't have to enact costly safety additions — and the AP's report highlights political appointees in Trump's DOT with strong industry backgrounds.

The Trump administration's take: "DOT says having industry insiders in leadership positions provides deep practical experience in how the transportation industry works."

Some of the stalled rules illustrated by the AP:

  • An electronically-enforced speed limit for trucks on interstates, proposed after a 2015 Tennessee incident in which a speeding tractor-trailer left six dead.
  • Sleep apnea screening for transportation operators, proposed after a spate of train crashes that saw engineers fall asleep on the job.
  • Advanced brakes for trains that carry flammable crude oil, which are already required for trains carrying radioactive waste.
“These rules have been written in blood. But we’re in a new era now of little-to-no new regulations no matter how beneficial they might be.”
— John Risch, national legislative director for the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers

The shot... "Even rules expected to save lives are weighed against their economic cost. DOT assigns a value of $9.6 million per life saved in its analyses."

Chase with... "The White House has acknowledged its calculations of savings from rolled-back regulations cited in public statements include only the cost to industry and others without taking into account benefits the rules produce, including lives saved."

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”