Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 9:30 a.m., the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law will hold a hearing titled “Rulemakers Must Follow the Rules Too: Oversight of Agency Compliance with the Congressional Review Act.”
The Congressional Review Act of 1996 establishes procedures for Congress to disapprove of federal rulemaking. Part of this process requires federal agencies to submit rules to Congress for review before they can take effect. However, in recent years, agencies have too often failed to comply with this requirement. As a result, many significant rules have been enforced without Congress having its legally required say.
This hearing will review the scope of agency non-compliance and examine what it means for regulatory reform efforts.
Witnesses at the hearing will include:
- Todd F. Gaziano, Esq., Executive Director, Pacific Legal Foundation DC Center
- Paul J. Larkin Jr., Esq., Senior Legal Research Fellow, Institute for Constitutional Government, The Heritage Foundation
- Jason H. Carter, Executive Director, Virginia Cattlemens Association
- Rena Steinzor, Esq., Edward M. Robertson Professor of Law, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte has issued the following statement ahead of the hearing:
Chairman Goodlatte: “In just two years, the previous Administration published nearly 2,000 regulations without submitting these rules for congressional review. The bureaucrats who create these extensive rules are not responsible to the American people for their decisions, and without proper review under the Congressional Review Act, Congress cannot efficiently oversee the rulemaking process. I look forward to hearing from our distinguished panel about the extent of the refusal to comply with the CRA, as well as potential solutions to these challenges.”
This hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at judiciary.house.gov. Camera crew wishing to cover must be congressionally credentialed and RSVP with the House Radio-TV Gallery at (202) 225-5214.
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 26, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) of the House Judiciary Committee. The REINS Act provides another avenue for Congress to oversee federal rulemaking in addition to the process established by the Congressional Review Act. H.R. 26 will increase accountability and transparency in federal agencies by requiring Congress to affirmatively approve major regulations before they can go into effect.
The House also passed H.R. 21, the Midnight Rules Relief Act, sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), also of the House Judiciary Committee. The Midnight Rules Relief Act provides Congress with the opportunity to disapprove through a single regulation multiple “midnight rules” issued by outgoing presidential administrations.
Congress has also used its authority under the CRA to roll back 15 harmful regulations during 2017.