President Trump Signs 11 CRA Resolutions Overturning Obama-Era Regulations

by Baker Donelson
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Baker Donelson

Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), Congress has a short 60 legislative day window to overturn regulations after they are finalized by the Administration. That window began to close on March 30, the final day to introduce resolutions intended to overturn regulations promulgated by the Obama Administration. Congress now has until May 9 to vote to overturn rules finalized between June 13, 2016 and January 3, 2017.

Prior to this year, Congress had successfully utilized the CRA to overturn a regulation once, in 2001, when it overturned a Department of Labor rule relating to ergonomics. In the first three months of the 115th Congress, President Trump has signed 11 CRA resolutions into law, and another two have been submitted to the President for his signature. Those signed into law include:

  • Resolution of disapproval for a rule relating to "Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers"
  • Resolution of disapproval for the "Stream Protection Rule"
  • Resolution of disapproval for a rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007
  • Resolution of disapproval for the "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" rule
  • Resolution of disapproval for a rule that would have implemented new procedures to prepare, revise and amend land use plans for Bureau of Land Management-managed lands or resources
  • Resolution of disapproval for a Department of Education rule related to teacher preparation programs
  • Resolution of disapproval for a Department of Education rule related to accountability and State plans
  • Resolution of disapproval for a Department of Labor rule that would have limited states' ability to implement drug testing as a prerequisite for receiving unemployment insurance
  • Resolution of disapproval for a regulation that would have prohibited certain hunting tactics that target "predator" animals like bears and wolves while they are inside Alaska's national preserves
  • Resolution of disapproval for Federal Communications Commission Internet privacy rule
  • Resolution of disapproval for a Department of Labor rule that would have required companies to report injuries and illnesses that occur on the job

Takeaway: The 115th Congress is, by far, the most active utilizer of the CRA since its adoption in 1996, having approved 13 resolutions of disapproval for Obama Administration rules, two of which still await President Trump's signature. The deadline to introduce new CRA resolutions has already passed, but Congress has until May 9 to act on a number of resolutions already in progress, including disapproval resolutions relating to methane emissions from oil and gas operations on public and Indian lands, and the creation of state-sponsored IRA plans for small business employees who do not have access to a retirement plan at work.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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