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What’s Next Under the Congressional Review Act?

by   |   February 4, 2017

As we reported, the House and Senate have passed a joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act disapproving the SEC Resource Extraction Rule and that President Trump was expected to sign the legislation that eliminates the regulation.

What else is there percolating under the Congressional Review Act?

According to the White House, H.J. Res 38 would nullify the Stream Protection Rule, 81 Fed. Reg. 93066 (Dec. 20, 2016), a final rule recently promulgated by the Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. The bill disapproves a rule that would establish requirements for coal mining operations, and impose compliance burdens on America’s coal production. The disapproved rule also duplicates existing protections in the Clean Water Act and is unnecessary given the other Federal and State regulations already in place.

H.J. Res 38 has passed both the House and Senate and White House advisors will recommend to the President that he sign the legislation.

Also, according to the White House, H.J. Res. 36 would nullify the final rule Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation. 81 Fed. Reg. 83008 (Nov. 18, 2016), promulgated by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. The bill disapproves a rule that would require oil and gas producers to reduce natural gas waste and emissions, regardless of whether or not it is economically viable to do so. The majority of affected oil and gas operators are small businesses, and productive wells could be unnecessarily shut in to meet the requirements of this rule.

In addition, H.J. Res. 40 would nullify the final rule Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, 81 Fed. Reg. 91702 (Dec. 19, 2016), promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The bill disapproves a rule that would allow SSA to provide records on certain individuals who receive Disability Insurance benefits under title II of the Social Security Act or Supplemental Security Income payments under title XVI of the Social Security Act to the Attorney General for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The rule could prevent some Americans with disabilities from purchasing or possessing firearms based on their decision to seek Social Security benefits.

H.J. Res. 37 would nullify the rule Federal Acquisition Regulation; Fair Pay and Safe Workspaces, 81 Fed. Reg. 58562 (August 25, 2016). The bill disapproves a rule that would require federal contractors to disclose findings of non-compliance with labor laws. The rule would burden Federal procurement with unnecessary processes that could result in delays, and decreased competition for Federal government contracts. Rolling back this rule will also help to reduce costs in Federal procurement.

H.J. Res 36, 37 and 40 have all passed the House, and if they reach the President’s desk after Senate approval, President Trump’s advisors will recommend to the President that he sign the legislation.