A recent edition of the Congressional Record clarified that Congress has 60 days from February 3, 2021, to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block regulatory activity taken near the end of the Trump administration.
The Congressional Review Act is a federal law passed in 1996 that creates a 60 day review period during which Congress, by passing a joint resolution of disapproval later signed by the president, can overturn a new federal agency rule.
The law defines days under the CRA as days where Congress is in continuous session, so the estimated deadline to block any end-of-term regulatory activity from the Trump administration is April 4, 2021, Easter Sunday. That date could move later into April if either chamber of Congress adjourns for longer than three days before then.
Since the law’s creation in 1996, Congress has used the CRA to repeal 17 rules published in the Federal Register. Before 2017, Congress had used the CRA successfully one time, to overturn a rule on ergonomics in the workplace in 2001. In the first four months of the his administration, President Donald Trump (R) signed 14 CRA resolutions from Congress undoing a variety of rules issued near the end of Barack Obama’s (D) presidency. Congress ultimately repealed 16 rules in total using the CRA during the Trump administration.
To learn more about the Congressional Review Act and its use, see here: https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Review_Act
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- Final rule
- Joint resolution of disapproval (administrative state)
- Uses of the Congressional Review Act during the Biden administration
- The Administrative State Project
- Midnight rulemaking
Text of the Congressional Review Act:
Text of the _Congressional Record_:
GW’s Daniel Pérez Estimate: