The Congressional Review Act could be used by Congress to revoke regulations back to 1996
January 28, 2017by Scott Harn
ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal
Some of you may have heard of the Congressional Review Act (CRA). It was a bill passed in 1996 that allows the rescinding of recent regulations by a simple majority vote in the House and Senate. On its face it appears to apply to rules and regulations put in place in the last 60 legislative days. At least that is what most people, including me, believed.
The CRA was enacted to help prevent administrations from promulgating unpopular rules or regulations without Congressional approval.
Todd Gaziano believes the CRA goes far beyond "recent" regulations, and he should know.
According to The Wall Street Journal:
"These days Mr. Gaziano is a senior fellow in constitutional law at the Pacific Legal Foundation. But in 1996 he was counsel to then-Republican Rep. David McIntosh. He was intimately involved in drafting and passing a bill Mr. McIntosh sponsored: the Congressional Review Act. No one knows the law better."
According to Gaziano, a federal agency must submit a report to the House and Senate after promulgating a rule. Congress then has a 60-day window to utilize the CRA, if desired, to rescind the rule. Rules or regulations promulgated during the last 60 legislative days would take us back to about June 2016 because only days where Congress was in session are counted.
But Gaziano said some agencies neglected to turn in the required reports for older rules and regulations, allowing the Trump Administration to do so now. The 60-day clock would start the date the report is submitted. This would create the opportunity to rescind regulations by a simple majority vote in the House and Senate, even for rules, regulations or agency guidance that was put in place as far back as 1996 when the CRA was passed if the required reports were not completed.
And the CRA specifically states that if a rule is rescinded, a similar rule cannot be reissued by an agency unless expressly authorized by Congress. The CRA could be utilized to provide lasting relief for miners, ranchers, and other public land users -- and virtually all types of businesses in all areas of America.
During a meeting with business leaders on Monday, January 23, President Trump stated, "We're going to be cutting regulation massively. We think we can cut regulations by 75 percent, maybe more."
We may have just learned how he intends to go about it.
Kimberley Strassel, writing for The Wall Street Journal, lays out the process in detail, in an article titled,
"A GOP Regulatory Game Changer."