House passage of a bill (HR-21) to overturn, with a single vote, executive branch regulations finalized in the last 60 legislative days of an outgoing Presidential administration is one of a series of steps planned by Republican leaders of Congress to limit agency regulatory authority.
The bill amends the Congressional Review Act to allow Congress curtail multiple regulations at once, targeting what sponsoring Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., called the “growing trend by Presidents of both parties to use their last few months in office to rush in costly, expensive or controversial new regulations.”
Early targets of the Midnight Rules Relief Act, if enacted into law, likely would be environmental and energy regulations, although recently issued federal workforce-related rules involving ethics policies and agency affirmative action obligations also could be affected. Similar legislation (S-34) has been offered in the Senate.
The House also has passed HR-26, to prevent major rules of the executive branch from taking effect unless a joint resolution of approval is enacted into law; the counterpart is S-21.
Also introduced was HR-41, to require agencies to respond to comments from congressional committees about proposed rulemaking;