Bonfire of the Obama regs: the Congressional Review Act

“The revival of Congressional activity under the CRA is a welcome development and shows that Congress is taking seriously its responsibilities both as ultimate lawmaker and in oversight of federal agencies,” said Olson. I’m quoted among other regulation-watchers [Aileen Yeung, Western Wire] More on the belated vitality of the Congressional Review Act: Brian Mannix/Law and Liberty; Kim Strassel/WSJ; Paul Larkin/Heritage.


  • Trump undertakes most ambitious regulatory rollback since Reagan
    By Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post (Feb. 12, 2017)

    Unless you happen to understand that the Congressional Review Act works like other legislative processes — the House and Senate both have to pass an Act which nullifies the regulation, and then the President can sign or veto it — you would think that Congress is barely, if at all, involved in the process. And, nowhere does the WaPo article mention that these actions are those of the people’s elected representatives nullifying the acts (laws, if you regard regulations as laws, which the courts do) of unelected bureaucrats.

    Part of the disappointment expressed by former Obama era bureaucrats, who just retired at the change of administrations, over the repeal of their newly promulgated regulations, is that they anticipated a new career as a consultant explaining to the regulated communities what the new regulations meant, and how they worked. Now, they may have to get jobs.

  • And it seems that many of the “new” regulations were never reported to Congress,as required by the CRA. And it is the report which starts the 60 day review window. It may be possible that almost all Obama era regulations are open to Congressional recision. I suspect Trump would eagerly sign any such bill crossing his desk,

  • In addition to its provisions for congressional review, the CRA provides that agency rules cannot take effect before the required report is submitted to Congress. This seems like an opportunity for private parties to argue that rules issued since 1996 without the appropriate reports to Congress have not taken effect and are not entitled to judicial deference.

  • […] Federalist Society podcast with David McIntosh and Todd Gaziano on the law of the hour, the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which Congress is using to overturn a number of big Obama administration regulations (earlier). […]