Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the House and Senate can roll back regulations that an outgoing president rams through at the last-minute without the knowledge — or consent — of the American people.
As of last week, we passed 13 CRAs and President Trump signed two into law so far — more than at any other point since the CRA became law 21 years ago.
Why is this process so important? Who inspired it? We’ll let the representatives who were involved explain. Here are three must-read recaps:
#1: Budget Committee Chair: Investing in women’s health should be a priority
“I introduced one of the CRA resolutions, because among the former administration’s most troubling actions in its last days was a federal rule designed to prop up former President Obama’s allies in the abortion industry at the expense of states’ 10th Amendment rights,” writes Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), Chair of the House Budget Committee in a blog post.
“[States like Tennessee put Title X grants] to use providing contraceptives, performing cancer screenings, and helping prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. With the Obama Administration’s eleventh-hour rule, however, states like Tennessee are now effectively forced to fund abortion providers – and no one can seem to tell us why. …Planned Parenthood’s latest numbers reveal that their contraceptive services dropped by 18 percent over the last year, while newly released investigative videos show their employees denying women access to prenatal care. What’s so ‘effective’ about that?”
#2: Our nation’s regulatory process is “arcane” and “misguided”
Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) writes in an op-ed for the Holland Sentinel: “The tide is changing in Washington. For too long, bureaucrats prioritized the number of rules and regulations enacted ahead of how they affected the American people. Those days are over. Republicans in Congress are committed to getting our economy back on track, reining in bureaucrats across Washington, and reclaiming the proper constitutional role of the legislative branch.”
Rep. Huizenga’s CRA resolution regarding a last-minute Dodd-Frank regulation was one of the two signed into law by President Trump. As he explains, the resolution repeals a “burdensome reporting requirement that forces publicly traded U.S. companies to reveal sensitive business information, putting them at a competitive disadvantage on the global stage. When American companies are going up against state-owned foreign entities such as Petróleos de Venezuela and then have to show the competition a summary of their business plan, how can we expect U.S. companies to successfully compete?”
#3: With people’s hard-earned retirement at stake, we need to be open to honest debates
In their op-ed in the L.A. Times, Reps. Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Francis Rooney (R-FL) outline why they oppose federal regulations that would be detrimental to the retirement security of Americans. “During the final days of the Obama administration, the Department of Labor created a regulatory loophole that would allow states to skirt a federal law designed to protect retirement savers.
“…Businesses that currently do not offer a retirement option would be forced to auto-enroll their employees in [a] government-run plan and be forced to deduct from their workers’ paychecks the money to fund these plans. States can impose onerous restrictions and penalties on both employers and employees. …These concerns are especially relevant in states that have a history of mishandling the pension promises made to their public-sector workers. In fact, according to one estimate, states have more than $5 trillion in unfunded pension obligations.”
“How we strengthen the retirement security of working families is an important debate to have. …For the sake of workers, employers, retirees and taxpayers, let’s have that debate.”