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Erik Schelzi / AP

The Trump administration hasn't named a replacement for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) chief. And Trump's budget proposes eliminating two key programs that ensure worker safety, specifically through OSHA. This all suggests that worker safety could change under Trump, per NYT.

What's changing:

  • Lowering exposure to beryllium in the workplace. The Obama administration introduced a rule (that had been crafted over nearly 40 years) to reduce exposure to beryllium, a chemical element that has caused "Chronic Beryllium Disease," a type of bacterial lung disease that kills approximately 100 people each year. Just weeks ago, as this was set to go into effect, OSHA introduced amendments that would allow some industries to exempt from the rule.

Lowering exposure to silica. The safety agency put another Obama-era rule on hold, which worked to reduce workers' exposure to the mineral silica, which has been linked to cancer and Silicosis, a debilitating lung disease. Reporting workplace injuries. OSHA "delayed action on a rule that would require employers to electronically report workplace injuries so that they can be posted for the public," per NYT.Eliminating the Chemical Safety Board. Trump's budget proposes eliminating this program, which looks into accidents that occur in chemical plants.Eliminating OSHA grant program. The budget proposes ending this program, which "provides training in industries with high injury or fatality rates and workers who do not speak English well."What they're saying: "The President and his administration care very much about worker safety, but believe the Obama administration's approach was counterproductive, and we think we can do better," a WH spokesman told NYT.Why it matters: It has been known for decades that exposure to these respiratory hazards (beryllium, silica, etc.) is linked to disabling, sometimes fatal, diseases. Rolling back Obama-era rules that tried to hold companies accountable for worker safety could result in dangerous workplace conditions.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.