Will the Congressional Review Act Be a Big Deal In January?

Some of the many volumes of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Some of the many volumes of the Code of Federal Regulations.

By Kevin R. Kosar

Will the Congressional Review Act become a big deal in January?

Maybe.

Congress enacted the Congressional Review Act (CRA) 20 years ago, and then-President Bill Clinton signed it. The CRA established a process for Congress to vote to nullify a regulation from taking effect by passing a joint disapproval resolution.

To date, just one regulation has been struck down using the CRA. Why? For one, it requires both House and Senate leadership to schedule CRA resolutions for a vote, which takes away time that could be spent on other legislative matters. For another, a president needs to sign the joint disapproval resolution after both chambers of Congress pass it, and presidents tend not to want to kill rules issued by their agencies. Obama himself has vetoed five CRA bills in the past two years.

Trump’s arrival changes that. Now Republicans can schedule votes in both chambers with the expectation that they will win every vote and their work will meet a willing presidential pen....(Read more)