The Congressional Review Act - a fun bit of legislation

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Enacted in 1996, it is now being used to great effect. From The Weekly Standard:

Congressional Republicans’ Secret Weapon
Democrats are expecting a landslide in the midterm elections, and it’s lulled them to sleep on Capitol Hill. A case in point: Republicans have been using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to wipe out Obama-era regulations since the Trump presidency began. And Democrats, responding groggily, have just gotten around to doing something about it.

What they’re doing doesn’t amount to much. In mid-May, senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) introduced a bill to kill the CRA. There was no fanfare or excitement, and no angry vows of resistance.

As important as it is, the CRA doesn’t command media attention, much less public acclaim. It was enacted in 1996 when Newt Gingrich was House speaker. And until January 2017, when Republicans achieved a Washington trifecta—control of the White House, Senate, and House—it had been invoked successfully only once. That was in 2001 when it ended the life of the Labor Department’s oppressive ergonomics policy.

A bit more - the CRA has somewhat limited powers but it has some major advantages as well:

The day after Trump won, House and Senate Republicans, mainly aides of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and House speaker Paul Ryan, began conspiring with Trump aides. The CRA was now on the agenda, right near the top. And there were plenty of regulations to target.

How does it work? The CRA allows Congress to look back at regulations adopted in the dying days of a president’s tenure and, if it so chooses, vote them down. In effect, this requires one party to be in control. And they better be Republicans. Democrats adore regulation.

There are limits on CRA power. The act applies only to rules and regulations put into effect in the prior 60 legislative days.

But it has significant advantages. To kill a regulation, only a simple majority is needed. So filibusters are of no use. And a CRA vote is an official act of Congress, though the regulation under review is not. Reversing a CRA vote would take congressional action. A presidential order—Obama’s favorite way to govern—wouldn’t do the job.

Just wonderful - get rid of the regulations. We have too many - it is where we cannot understand all of them.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on June 1, 2018 11:21 AM.

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