On March 25 and 26, 2021, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) introduced companion resolutions in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block a rule made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in September 2020.
The Congressional Review Act gives Congress a chance to review and reject any new regulatory rules created by federal administrative agencies. Both houses of Congress have to pass a resolution disapproving the EPA rule and President Biden would then have to sign that resolution into law to block the rule. Since the law’s creation in 1996, Congress has used the CRA to repeal 17 out of the over 90,767 rules published in the Federal Register during that time.
The EPA rule went into effect on September 14, 2020. A recent edition of the Congressional Record clarified that Congress has 60 days from February 3, 2021, to use the CRA to block regulatory activity taken near the end of the Trump administration. Rules published by the Trump administration after August 21, 2020 fall within the CRA lookback window.
The U.S. Senate version of the resolution has the following 17 cosponsors: Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Angus King (I-Maine), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.)
The U.S. House version of the resolution has the following 15 cosponsors: Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Conor Lamb (D-Penn.), Nanette Barragan (D-Calif.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Ann Kuster (D-N.H.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Albio Sires (D-N.J.), Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.)
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
- Midnight Rulemaking
- Administrative State
- Easter deadline to use Congressional Review Act to repeal end-of-term Trump administration regulatory activity (2021)
Link to the U.S. Senate CRA resolution:
Link to the U.S. House of Representatives CRA resolution:
Text of the EPA rule:
Link to Heinrich press release:
Link to the Congressional Record: