What’s Next Under the Congressional Review Act?

by Stinson Leonard Street - Dodd-Frank and the Jobs Act

As we reported, the House and Senate have passed a joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act disapproving the SEC Resource Extraction Rule and that President Trump was expected to sign the legislation that eliminates the regulatory review.

What else is there percolating under the Congressional Review Act?

According to the White House, H.J. Res 38 H.J. Res. 38 would nullify the Stream Protection Rule, 81 Fed. Reg. 93066 (Dec. 20, 2016), a final rule recently promulgated by the Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. The bill disapproves a rule that would establish onerous requirements for coal mining operations, and impose significant compliance burdens on America’s coal production. The disapproved rule also duplicates existing protections in the Clean Water Act and is unnecessary given the other Federal and State regulations already in place.

H.J. Res 38 has passed both the House and Senate and White House advisors will recommend the President to sign the legislation.

Also, according to the White House, H.J. Res. 36 would nullify the final rule Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation. 81 Fed. Reg. 83008 (Nov. 18, 2016), promulgated by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. The bill disapproves an expensive rule that would require oil and gas producers to reduce natural gas waste and emissions, regardless of whether or not it is economically viable to do so. The majority of affected oil and gas operators are small businesses, and productive wells could be unnecessarily shut in to meet the requirements of this rule. While minimizing waste remains an important component of responsible energy development, the Administration is committed to reducing regulatory burdens on American businesses, supporting energy policies that lower costs for hardworking Americans, maximizing the use of American resources, and freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.

In addition, H.J. Res. 40 would nullify the final rule Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, 81 Fed. Reg. 91702 (Dec. 19, 2016), promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The bill disapproves a rule that would allow SSA to provide records on certain individuals who receive Disability Insurance benefits under title II of the Social Security Act or Supplemental Security Income payments under title XVI of the Social Security Act to the Attorney General for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The rule would prevent some Americans with disabilities from purchasing or possessing firearms based on their decision to seek Social Security benefits. Applications of this rule could endanger the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens.

H.J. Res. 37 would nullify the rule Federal Acquisition Regulation; Fair Pay and Safe Workspaces, 81 Fed. Reg. 58562 (August 25, 2016). The bill disapproves a rule that would require federal contractors to disclose findings of non-compliance with labor laws. The rule would bog down Federal procurement with unnecessary and burdensome processes that would result in delays, and decreased competition for Federal government contracts. Rolling back this rule will also help to reduce costs in Federal procurement. The Administration is committed to reducing onerous regulatory burdens on America’s businesses and using existing authorities to continue enforcing the Nation’s workplace laws.

H.J. Res 36, 37 and 40 have all passed the House, and if they reach the President’s desk after Senate approval, President Trump’s advisors will recommend to the President that he sign the legislation.

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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