CRA: The "Regulatory Game Changer" That Could Wipe Out 8 Years Of Obama Regs In An Hour

Tyler Durden's picture

After a pompous, liberal agenda was crammed down the throats of the American people during his first two years in office, President Obama suffered staggering losses in Congress for the next six years that cost Democrats control of both houses.  But, heavy Democrat losses, courtesy of an electorate that vehemently rejected a far-left agenda, didn't stop Obama from continuing to push through countless new rules and regulations from the White House all while pushing his authority to the brink of every Constitutional boundary known to man. 

Of course, the problem with "legislating from the White House" is that all those rules and regulations can be undone by the next administration.  And, as Kimberley Strassel points out in a Wall Street Journal Opinion piece today, a little know tool within the Congressional Review Act could allow Republicans to wipe out 8 full years of Obama's liberal agenda, with a simple majority vote, all while preventing similar rules from every being recreated by future administrations.

Todd Gaziano on Wednesday stepped into a meeting of free-market attorneys, think tankers and Republican congressional staff to unveil a big idea. By the time he stepped out, he had reset Washington’s regulatory battle lines.


These days Mr. Gaziano is a senior fellow in constitutional law at the Pacific Legal Foundation. But in 1996 he was counsel to then-Republican Rep. David McIntosh. He was intimately involved in drafting and passing a bill Mr. McIntosh sponsored: the Congressional Review Act. No one knows the law better.


Everyone right now is talking about the CRA, which gives Congress the ability, with simple majorities, to overrule regulations from the executive branch. Republicans are eager to use the law, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy this week unveiled the first five Obama rules that his chamber intends to nix.



So, here's how it works:

But what Mr. Gaziano told Republicans on Wednesday was that the CRA grants them far greater powers, including the extraordinary ability to overrule regulations even back to the start of the Obama administration. The CRA also would allow the GOP to dismantle these regulations quickly, and to ensure those rules can’t come back, even under a future Democratic president. No kidding.


Here’s how it works: It turns out that the first line of the CRA requires any federal agency promulgating a rule to submit a “report” on it to the House and Senate. The 60-day clock starts either when the rule is published or when Congress receives the report—whichever comes later.


“There was always intended to be consequences if agencies didn’t deliver these reports,” Mr. Gaziano tells me. “And while some Obama agencies may have been better at sending reports, others, through incompetence or spite, likely didn’t.” Bottom line: There are rules for which there are no reports. And if the Trump administration were now to submit those reports—for rules implemented long ago—Congress would be free to vote the regulations down.

But, it gets even better:

There’s more. It turns out the CRA has a expansive definition of what counts as a “rule”—and it isn’t limited to those published in the Federal Register. The CRA also applies to “guidance” that agencies issue. Think the Obama administration’s controversial guidance on transgender bathrooms in schools or on Title IX and campus sexual assault. It is highly unlikely agencies submitted reports to lawmakers on these actions.


“If they haven’t reported it to Congress, it can now be challenged,” says Paul Larkin, a senior legal research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Mr. Larkin, also at Wednesday’s meeting, told me challenges could be leveled against any rule or guidance back to 1996, when the CRA was passed.


The best part? Once Congress overrides a rule, agencies cannot reissue it in “substantially the same form” unless specifically authorized by future legislation. The CRA can keep bad regs and guidance off the books even in future Democratic administrations—a far safer approach than if the Mr. Trump simply rescinded them.

As Strassel points out: "The entire point of the CRA was to help legislators rein in administrations that ignored statutes and the will of Congress. Few White House occupants ever showed more contempt for the law and lawmakers than Mr. Obama. Republicans if anything should take pride in using a duly passed statue to dispose of his wayward regulatory regime. It’d be a fitting and just end to Mr. Obama’s abuse of authority—and one of the better investments of time this Congress could ever make."

Obama Legacy

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Takeaction2's picture
Takeaction2 (not verified) Jan 27, 2017 8:45 PM

I am so tired of winning...when does it stop?  




Oh...8 years....on and doesn't.  Dems are done.

weburke's picture

yea ! and he appointed RFK jr to investigate the evil cdc and vaccines

shivura's picture

this is such great news!! i hate regulations!

i hate the one that tells me i can't wear dynamite around
i hate the one about child porn
i hate the one about nail guns and cats
i hate the one about mining uranium
i hate the one about dumping my feces in the river
i hate the one saying buildings have to be built a certain way

FUCK regulations

the problem is i am a nilhlistic narcissist but i can't do anything about it because i don't know what that is.

CheapBastard's picture

My body is so sore from winning but my soul of ready for moar!

NoDebt's picture

They haven't passed a law or invented a rule yet that will stop people of ill intent from doing what they're going to do.  

I recall laws passed that were designed to limit the federal deficit and debts as far back as the 1990s.... all worthless.

I also recall telling liberal friends that they should be the ones most terrified of how Obama was ruling by Executive Order.  What if somebody you don't like gets in office and starts using the same tools to do things you don't like?  Crickets.  They didn't give a shit... they were WINNING!  They never thought it could happen.  Yet here it is.  And they're completely shitting a brick.

I have no idea if this is a good law or not.  That the legislative branch is (finally) deciding the pull some power back from the executive branch is probably a good thing.  Does it open another "Pandoras Box" of unforseen problems?  Don't know.  But I'd be willing to give it a try.  If it sucks, I'm sure the next Congress will blow it off the books and go back the other way.




nmewn's picture

One thing about "laws" is they can "change".

Everyone wish me luck trying to get my money back from the state in defending myself against "devil weed laws", which is now, thought of as medicinal, meaning, the "law" was wrong.

Theres just no justice ;-)

wee-weed up's picture

I'm afraid the wussy congresscritters don't have the balls or the backbone to stand up to this noble challenge and see it through.

nmewn's picture

Yeah, I don't think so either.

So I guess this also means the blatant theft from our pockets (that was ObamaCare) will go down as yet another unprosecuted and unpunished crime disguised as a "law" by our honest & caring "lawgivers". I can't say I'm really surprised by the lack of compensation for the monetary damages inflicted on us all or the involuntary manslaughter charges that will never be brought against those forced to drop their coverage...but...the sheer charlatanism & hypocisy exhibited by its passage & repeal should be remembered forever by all.

For the next time...because there will be a next time ;-)

SWRichmond's picture

Government is the greatest mass killer ever invented.

Bastiat's picture

interesting that the Republican Congress discovers this now . . . where were they the last 4 years? 

nmewn's picture

Craven cowardice...or...using the damage inflicted on us by Obama/Reid/Pelosi for their own political advantage.

Knowing how politicians think & operate, I'm going with the latter ;-)

toady's picture

Not only that, but; 

 .....all while preventing similar rules from every being recreated by future administrations.

That's the main reason they won't do it. Now that Obama opened the "pen and phone" door, they want to use it too.... they just love piling new regulations on old.

Unless, of course, they are afraid of what Trump will do with it.... he does appear to love his "pen and phone" as much, if not more, than Obama did!

RichardParker's picture

"Blinded by the belief that Obama was too benevolent and benign to abuse his office, and drowning in partisan loyalties at the expense of political principles, Democrats consecrated this framework with their acquiescence and, often, their explicit approval. This is the unrestrained set of powers Trump will inherit. The president-elect frightens them, so they are now alarmed. But if they want to know whom to blame, they should look in the mirror."

-Glenn Greenwald

toady's picture

Huh! That's what I typed just before I read it!

I always liked Greenwald.

Great minds think alike! 

AndSoItBegins's picture

I'd like  see President Trump end the power granted by the executive order process just as soon as he is done using it to wipe out all of Obamas executive orders. Bush and Cheney created that power for the presidency, filthy globalists.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

Just curious:  how would he do that?  If he could do it, then presumably his successor could undo it. 

BTW, there's a difference between EOs and regulations even though both come out of the executive branch.  EOs are one of the ways the president administers the executive branch bureaucracyon a day to day basis.  Mundane things, like OPM giving the govt the day off to federal employees, delegating power among executive branch appointees, etc. He really cant use EOs to tell ordinary citizens what to do directly, just govt employees; although such orders can have effects on citizens (as it would if say here were to give orders to delay benefits payments or any of countless others he could issue)

Regulations are where the general intent of congress are fleshed out into specific rules.  Congress:  we want clean air and instruct the EPA to issue rules that achieve that end.  EPA then issues proposed rules, takes comments, and then drafts final regulations in light of public comments.

Once final rules are issued, Congress has 60 days to overule the regs under CRA.  I wasnt aware of the report requirement in CRA that actually starts the clock ticking.  That's some real interesting lawyering right there.  Using their own rules agin 'em....lawyerly jujitsu.  Nice.

HalinCA's picture

It cuts both ways ... everything Trump does can be reversed just as easily in the future.

Without Congress passing bills and getting the Pres to sign them, this means any regulation can be repealed ... the good pnes and the bad ones ...


bionicknees's picture

Thats not correct. In the cancellation of Obama's regulation they actually can kill the regulation permanently.

El Oregonian's picture

Live by the Pen; Die by the Pen...

The sooner these last few "Creations" is ground to dust

the sooner this country can begin to heal,

froze25's picture

So which one of those did Obama put in place?

Fred C Dobbs's picture

This article is about Regulations.  You are talking about laws.

Ms. Erable's picture

Retarded children shouldn't be allowed access to computers of any kind; this results, as seen above, in embarrasing displays lacking critical thinking skills and common sense.

TL;DR: shut the fuck up, you fucking moron.

kochevnik's picture

To pick one example, kiddie porn is EVIDENCE of a crime.  Criminalizing evidence is a red herring promoted in collaboration by child molesters and lazy detectives.  In full blockage of law, evidence itself is now THE crime while the molesters are ignored because arresting them is more difficult and less profitable then stealing unrelated property in permanent dragnets

TwelveOhOne's picture

Glad #pizzagate is getting some attention.  I've been saying for years that it seems wrong to criminalize evidence of a crime; pictures of car crashes aren't illegal, for instance.  Most people reject my observation, saying those who want it to be legal want to consume it.  That's not true, at least in my case; I have seen it used to frame people, by covertly putting images on their computers.

Now that #pizzagate has come about, I realize that this was by design -- if the possession of evidence is criminalized, then those who are invetigating these slimy perverts can be stopped in their tracks once they've gathered some evidence, and thrown in jail for "their crime" -- and those who prey on helpless children walk free.

It seems satanic.

The Wizard's picture

Your sarcastic tone doesn't get to the heart of the issue. The issue being there are the laws of nature whereby common sense is structured and followed. The American culture has been torn apart by globalists and people have lost the ability to work locally within common cultural patterns. As the people lose the ability to think they must rely on the government to control their asses. Common sense can replace most regs.

agNau's picture

So much hate for one tiny little snowflake.

JB Say's picture

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Thats the 10th Amendment. Trying to educate you is probably futile but there are 50 state governments and thousands of local jurisdictions to cover all that and much more.

Chuck Walla's picture

I can hardly wait for Comicon so you have something useful to do with real people.  All you sock monkeys are getting tedious.

VD's picture

and all those WARS not approved by congress.....still ongoing............ Trumpian detente is WINNING


if we could only dismantle both 1913 "laws"; namely, The Fed Act & Income Tax Law.........

JRobby's picture

The Manchurian Kenyan!


Tried to destroy the country. There still are checks and balances.

Able Ape's picture

Democratic Party was turned into a FOSSIL by good-old Barry-Boy...

Woodrox's picture

maybe that as the plan for Barry all along.

drendebe10's picture

Bring it the fuk on.... Dump the illegal Indonesian kenyan alien muslim fudgepacker imbecile traitor's bullshut agenda and legacy into the outhouse hole where it belongs all ready.  Quit fukn around & just do it!   

Paper Mache's picture

Yay! When will it never end?!!

Yog Soggoth's picture

Trump is now slang for winning. Shoot a wad of paper into the wastebin and made it? Yeah I Trumped it!

Save_America1st's picture

is this only for bullshit made up from previous admins or can they use it for current president's rules? Just asking...I'm good with everything Mr. T. has done so far. But also just hoping that every rule/regulation or whatever it is he's enacting has been done by the books according to the rules outlined in this CRA article so that they can't overturn something good that he has signed off on already or will sign off on in the near future.

Max Cynical's picture

Any override has to be signed by the current President...this is why the CRA has only once been successfully used since 1997.

DosZap's picture

Same for every POTUS any EO's he passes can be rescinded asap with any new POTUS.

Only way stuff can really last for any amount of time is getting it codified through Congress.Asshat,decided HE WOULD BE "KING", and red rounded everyone,and issued EO's one after the  other.Trump needs to ask for all of Obama's EO's be brought to him, and write ONE E O as a blanket E O to do away with everyone he did , listing them separately on how ever many pages it takes,and with ONE whisk of a PEN.

ebworthen's picture

Obama won't hear about it on the MSM news!

CrankyCurmudgeon's picture

Nope. When y'all impeach Trump to put Pence in, you will discover what real Americans think. And if you don't believe Trump won't commit legit impeachable offenses on a monthly basis, I'd like some of what you're smoking.

Save_America1st's picture

what in the wide wide world of sports are you talking about??? lol

seems like you're the one smoking the wacky tobaccy, dude. 

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

The Dems made it crystal clear during the Clinton impeachment that party comes before gawd, country, or anything else.  Repubs are very unlikely to not return that favor, making the odds of a Trump impeachment about as good as the odds of Jill Stein's electoral challenge or the likelihood of 3/4 of the states voting to approve Cal-exit.

SokPOTUS's picture

'Approve' Cal-exit? Can we vote to *force* them out? Pretty sure we could get a majority right now and just need to convince a few straggler states to join in.

drendebe10's picture

I vote fukn yes & since i live in california i get to vote a hundert times.  And by absentee ballot of course.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Don't be simple. The only "Impeachable" Offense that Trump could commit, for which even the RINOs will turn on him, is if he...

   - Turns his back on the MIC. Not gonna happen.

   - Gets too intimate with Russia.  The Kabal / Syndicate will keep him on a leash, unless it's a ploy to Divide & Conquer the RIC (Russia, Iran, China) Alliance.

   - Goes after the Fed.  That's a Game Ender a la JFK, not a Game Changer*.

* IMO, the only way he can end the Fed, is if he creates a Firewall and Lifeboat for the People, while the Banksters try to Reset their Debt Ponzi. I've explained before, how that can be done... quite easily and w/o CONgress.

skunzie's picture

The creation of the Federal Reserve was not legally ratified.  Call that action up for review and "POOF" there it all goes.