Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

How the Coming Republican Congress Could Cut Regulations Lickety-split

Scissors cutting red tape

For the better part of eight years, Republicans have tried to stop the Obama administration from issuing new regulations. They have not had much success. But this may well change in January, when President-elect Donald Trump arrives in the Oval Office.

Congress’ primary regulation-whacking tool is the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a bipartisan statute enacted 20 years ago and signed by then-President Bill Clinton. The CRA established a process for Congress to vote to nullify a regulation from taking effect.

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 four 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 at the R Street Institute Blog)

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