Tagcongressional review act

Congressional resolution would reverse Trump-era rule about how banking laws apply to certain loans

On March 25 and 26, 2021, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and U.S. Representative Jesus Garcia (D-Ill.) 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 U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in October 2020. 

The rule, published in the Federal Register on October 30, 2020, aims to clarify when banks are the true lender in situations where banks provide the money for third-party organizations to extend credit to borrowers. 

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 OCC 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 OCC rule went into effect on December 29, 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 6 cosponsors: Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Catherine Cortez Mastro (D-Nev.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) 

The U.S. House version of the resolution has no cosponsors. 

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act and its use, see here: https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Review_Act

Want to go further? Sign up today for our Learning Journey on the Congressional Review Act: https://ballotpedia.org/Journey:_Congressional_Review_Act

Additional reading:

Link to the U.S. Senate CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/15/text?r=2&s=5

Link to the U.S. House of Representatives CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-joint-resolution/35?s=5&r=2

Text of the OCC rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/10/30/2020-24134/national-banks-and-federal-savings-associations-as-lenders

Link to Van Hollen’s press release:

https://www.vanhollen.senate.gov/news/press-releases/van-hollen-brown-garcia-announce-congressional-review-act-legislation-to-repeal-trump-era-rent-a-bank-rule

Link to Garcia’s press release:

https://chuygarcia.house.gov/media/press-releases/representative-garc-senators-van-hollen-brown-announce-congressional-review-act

Link to the Congressional Record:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2021-02-03/pdf/CREC-2021-02-03-house.pdf



Congressional resolution would reverse Trump-era rule about company shareholder proposals

On March 25 and 26, 2021, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Delegate Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (D-Guam) 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 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in November 2020. 

The rule, published in the Federal Register on November 4, 2020, changed regulations governing who may submit shareholder proposals and increased the amount of support proposals would have to receive to be eligible for resubmission at future shareholder meetings.

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 SEC 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 SEC rule went into effect on January 4, 2021. 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.

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act and its use, see here: https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Review_Act

Want to go further? Sign up today for our Learning Journey on the Congressional Review Act: https://ballotpedia.org/Journey:_Congressional_Review_Act

Additional reading:

Link to the U.S. Senate CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/16/text?r=1&s=5

Link to the U.S. House of Representatives CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-joint-resolution/36?s=5&r=1

Text of the SEC rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/11/04/2020-21580/procedural-requirements-and-resubmission-thresholds-under-exchange-act-rule-14a-8

Link to the _Reuters_ article:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-senate-proxy/u-s-senate-democrats-aim-to-undo-trump-era-shareholder-voting-rights-rule-idUKKBN2BI2BS

Link to the Congressional Record:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2021-02-03/pdf/CREC-2021-02-03-house.pdf



Congressional resolution would reverse Trump-era HHS rule that added sunset dates to agency regulations

On March 25 and 26, 2021, U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block a rule made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in January 2021. 

The rule, published in the Federal Register the day before Joe Biden’s (D) inauguration, set expiration, or sunset, dates for HHS regulations that apply unless the agency reviews those regulations according to the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). HHS said the rule would “ensure evidence-based regulation that does not become outdated as conditions change.”

The RFA is a 1980 law that requires federal agencies to consider the effects of regulation on small entities such as small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and local governments. The RFA directs agencies to consider regulatory alternatives for small entities and to consider their input and needs during the rulemaking process.

Opponents of the HHS rule argue that the rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). According to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the rule also “creates immediate uncertainty and instability throughout the healthcare system at the very time that the public most needs clear guidelines due to a global pandemic.”

On March 23, HHS issued a new final rule postponing the effective date for the sunset rule in response to pending judicial review.

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 HHS 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.

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.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) cosponsored the resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives.

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act and its use, see here: https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Review_Act

Want to go further? Sign up today for our Learning Journey on the Congressional Review Act: https://ballotpedia.org/Journey:_Congressional_Review_Act

Additional reading:

Link to the U.S. House of Representatives CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-joint-resolution/37/cosponsors?r=1&s=5&searchResultViewType=expanded

Text of the HHS sunset rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/19/2021-00597/securing-updated-and-necessary-statutory-evaluations-timely

Text of lawsuit against HHS sunset rule:

https://democracyforward.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/County-of-Santa-Clara-et-al.-v.-HHS-et-al.-Complaint-3.9.21.pdf

Text of the HHS rule postponing the sunset rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/03/23/2021-05907/securing-updated-and-necessary-statutory-evaluations-timely-administrative-delay-of-effective-date

Link to the Congressional Record:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2021-02-03/pdf/CREC-2021-02-03-house.pdf



Congressional resolution would reverse Trump-era methane rule to restore standards set by Obama administration

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

Want to go further? Sign up today for our Learning Journey on the Congressional Review Act: https://ballotpedia.org/Journey:_Congressional_Review_Act

Additional reading:

Link to the U.S. Senate CRA resolution:

https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/download/maz21298_heinrich-king-markey-cra-s-j-res-epa-methanepdf

Link to the U.S. House of Representatives CRA resolution:

https://degette.house.gov/sites/degette.house.gov/files/DeGette-Peters-Lamb%20methane%20CRA%20res.pdf

Text of the EPA rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/14/2020-18114/oil-and-natural-gas-sector-emission-standards-for-new-reconstructed-and-modified-sources-review

Link to Heinrich press release:

https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/press-releases/heinrich-schumer-king-markey-introduce-resolution-to-reinstate-methane-emissions-standards-to-protect-public-health-tackle-climate-crisis

Link to the Congressional Record:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2021-02-03/pdf/CREC-2021-02-03-house.pdf



Easter deadline to use Congressional Review Act to repeal end-of-term Trump administration regulatory activity

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

Want to go further? Sign up today for our Learning Journey on the Congressional Review Act: https://ballotpedia.org/Journey:_Congressional_Review_Act

Additional reading:

Text of the Congressional Review Act:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/801

Text of the _Congressional Record_:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2021-02-03/pdf/CREC-2021-02-03-house.pdf

GW’s Daniel Pérez Estimate:

https://regulatorystudies.columbian.gwu.edu/congressional-review-act



Payroll tax deferral plan subject to challenge under Congressional Review Act, GAO confirms

Banner with the words "The Administrative State Project"

On September 15, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sent a letter to U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) clarifying that a recent IRS guidance document was subject to challenge through the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

The IRS guidance related to a presidential memorandum issued by President Donald Trump on August 8 that directed the Secretary of the Treasury to defer payroll tax collection for workers who make less than $4000 per paycheck between September and December 2020.

On September 4, U.S. Representative John Larson (D-Conn.) introduced a resolution of disapproval under the CRA in an attempt to block the IRS guidance from going into effect. As of September 18, the resolution had 28 cosponsors, all members of the Democratic Party.

Larson argued in a press release that Trump’s deferral policy “is the first step towards a long-time conservative dream to end Social Security as we know it. This is a direct attack on our country’s most popular program that must be stopped.” The administration argued that the deferral would “put money directly in the pockets of American workers and generate additional incentives for work and employment.”

The CRA gives Congress a chance to review and reject any new regulatory rules created by federal administrative agencies. Since the law’s creation in 1996, 17 out of the over 90,767 rules published in the _Federal Register_ during that time have been repealed using the CRA. To block the IRS guidance, both houses of Congress would have to pass a CRA resolution of disapproval and get President Trump to sign it into law.

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act or guidance documents, see here:
Congressional Review Act
Guidance (administrative state)

Additional reading:
Presidential memorandum
Administrative state
Federal government responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Internal Revenue Service