The House of Representatives passed legislation, 240-to-179, allowing Congress to undo any last-minute rules and regulations put on the books in the waning days of President Barack Obama.
“This bipartisan bill is about reviving the separation of powers to ensure our laws are written by the representatives we actually vote for – not unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats who are on their way out the door,” said the bill’s sponsor Rep. Darrell Issa R-CA, a former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the current chairman of the House’s Intellectual Property Subcommittee.
“Presidents of both parties have made habit of enacting scores of last-minute regulations, with little oversight, to sneak in as much of their agenda as possible before the clock runs out on their time in office,” Issa said.
“The bill helps ensure this President, and any future president, will be held in check and that their policies have the proper level of scrutiny by both Congress and the American people. I’m pleased to see the House pass this important measure and look forward to its quick passage by our colleagues in the Senate,” he said.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter Wednesday to congressmen alerted them to the cost of regulations put on the books by administrations on their way out the door:
A recent report issued by the Regulatory Studies Center at the George Washington University entitled The Final Countdown; Projecting Midnight Regulations found that executive branch agencies typically issue a significantly greater number of rules during the final months of an administration in a rushed effort to implement remaining policy objectives. Midnight regulations issued by prior administrations have proven highly problematic and required subsequent correction. The ability of Congress to disapprove these rules under the CRA is limited by tight deadlines for action that make separate debate and votes on a rule-by-rule basis impractical.
FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon says he’s pleased with the House vote and he committed his Washington-based logistics and policy hub for Tea Party and conservative activists to working with Capitol Hill conservatives to return law-making authority to Congress.
“The Obama administration’s regulatory agenda has been damaging to the economy and the destructive to separation of powers in Article I of the Constitution,” Brandon said.
“While Congress has a long road ahead to restore Article I and reclaim its power from the executive branch, the Midnight Rules Relief Act is a step toward that goal. This bill simply allows Congress, under the Congressional Review Act, to reject multiple last-minute regulations promulgated by federal agencies in a single resolution,” he said.
“We’re glad to see the House pass the Midnight Rules Relief Act, and we urge the Senate to act on the bill. We also urge Republican leadership to work with the House Freedom Caucus and continue the effort to restore the legislative branch’s constitutional role,” he said.