The House voted on and passed legislation Thursday that would allow Congress to overturn in a single vote any regulations finalized in the last days of the Obama administration.
Despite Democratic opposition, the Midnight Rule Relief Act passed largely along party lines, by a 240-179 vote. The bill would amend the Congressional Review Act to allow Congress to overturn many rules all at once by way of a resolution.
Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., criticized the bill, citing pro-regulatory groups like Public Citizen in disputing Republican claims that midnight regulations are rushed through at the end of an administration in haste.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) urged his colleagues on the floor Thursday morning to pass the legislation and tell the American people that lawmakers heard them on Election Day loud and clear!
“The American people have said no to the continuance of the Obama administration’s policies,” he said. “This bill guarantees that Congress can prevent any and all last-minute defiance of the people’s will by midnight regulations that stubbornly seem to entrench the last pieces of the administration’s bipartisan agenda.”
And before any Democrats start crying foul?
“This is not a new request,” McCarthy said at a press conference Tuesday. “This request actually happened when Barack Obama won (in 2008) — Rahm Emanuel sent the same letter.”
The administration has already threatened a veto if the bill were to make it to the president’s desk.
In a statement, the Executive Office of the President said the bill is unnecessary because the Congressional Review Act already allows for Congress to disapprove rules on a case-by-case basis.
“In addition, the bill would expand the scope of rules subject to the CRA such that by the time a vote on a resolution occurs, some of the rules may have been in effect for over a year,” the executive office said.
“By doing so, H.R. 5982 would create tremendous regulatory uncertainty, potentially impose additional costs on businesses, and represent a step backwards for applying sound regulatory principles to protect public health, safety, the environment, and other critical aspects of society.”
In all reality, isn’t it just Common Sense that after a new president has been elected, to just stop? I mean, of course they will want to throw out some last minute “legacy makers”. But, seriously though, it’s Lame Duck Season.