One of the first orders of business by Republicans after the 115th Congress convened today was the reintroduction by Rep. Darrell Issa of the Midnight Rules Relief Act, H.R. 5982, now the Midnight Rules Relief Act (H.R. 21).
H.R. 5982 was originally passed in the 114th Congress on November 17, 2016.
H.R. 5982 last updated November 28, 2016 . Additionally, a similar bill (S.3483 – Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2016) was introduced in the U. S. Senate on November 29, 2016 but understandably never left the committee.
Rep. Hank “the island of Guam “would tip over and, uh capsize” Johnson (D-GA4) in an op-ed posted online at the Huffington Post last November, alleges that the Midnight Rules Relief Act is (a) much to do about nothing (so to speak), (b) an attempted overreach by a Republican Congress, and (c) “a solution to a non-existent and undocumented problem.”
… Alarmingly, once these rules have been invalidated through this process, the agency may not adopt a subsequent similar rule absent express authorization by Congress.
Notwithstanding the bill’s colorful title, the bill does not simply apply to rules submitted during the lame-duck period following an election.
To set the record straight, this bill applies to every rule submitted to Congress within the final 60 legislative days of a session.
As the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) has clarified, this would include rules submitted as early as May 2016…
For starters, a president is considered a lame duck during his final year in the White House, not sixty days as inferred in the above article.
Secondly, Obama has been anything but a lame duck shoving through legislation all year long and then bursting into turbo mode when denied a third-term under Hillary Clinton, desperate to seal his legacy and stymie all efforts by president-elect, Donald J. Trump to undo eight years of damage under an Obama administration.
At the same time that Johnson went live, the Competitive Enterprise Institute reported Barack Obama setting a record by spitting out 527 pages of regulations “in just one day, bringing Obama’s passage of legislation to an all-time high, i.e., stands at 81,640 pages for 2016.”
END OF SIDEBAR
Justifiably, the Midnight Rules Relief Act (H.R. 21) will serve to push back Barack Obama’s “midnight regulations.”
Issa’s office released the following statement:
Jan 3, 2017
Today, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) re-introduced the Midnight Rules Relief Act (H.R. 21), legislation that will allow Congress to overturn, with a single vote, executive branch regulations finalized in the last 60 legislative days of an outgoing Presidential administration.
The bill specifically amends the Congressional Review Act (the CRA) to allow Congress to reclaim the ability to effectively curtail multiple regulations hurried through the regulatory process in the final days of an outgoing Administration all at once. It’s designed to stem a growing trend by Presidents, of both parties, to use their last few months in office to rush in costly, expensive or controversial new regulations.
The House of Representatives is expected to approve the proposal on Wednesday. The bill was introduced with the bipartisan support of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA), Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) and others.
Congressman Darrell Issa: “Regulations impacting the economy, the environment, families, and our community should be done with great caution and transparency, not get rushed in last-minute on a President’s way out of office. This is a good piece of legislation that will help keep this and future Presidents in check. The Midnight Rules Relief Act is a reasonable plan to strengthen executive branch oversight, giving Congress a better tool to ensure regulations are limited and, when necessary, approved in an open and transparent manner. We have a responsibility to ensure that unaccountable, last-minute regulations don’t continue crippling our economy, crushing small business and raising costs on middle-class families.”
Chairman Bob Goodlatte: “Our nation’s regulatory costs are currently out of control, and the last days of the Obama Administration is no time to be issuing even more regulations that will hurt our nation’s ability to create more jobs in the future. Overly broad and partisan regulations that are too often created in the final days of a presidential administration are not fair to hardworking Americans who will feel the impact of regulations long after a president leaves office.”
Congressman Tom Marino: “The runaway regulatory state maintained by the Obama administration has put immense strain on our economy and on working-class Americans. Still, President Obama continues to shuffle in last-minute regulations allowing no time for public scrutiny or thorough vetting. The Midnight Rules Relief Act ensures that midnight regulations can be easily disapproved of by the incoming Congress so no lame duck president has the opportunity to circumvent the will of the people or their representatives in Congress. It is an important and necessary piece of legislation that protects Americans from excessive, burdensome overreach by the executive.”
Groups Supporting The Midnight Rules Relief Act: The Midnight Rules Relief Act has the support of job creators and business groups from across the nation including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and more.