Clean Air Act and Related Issues - 114th Congress (2015-2016)

Reforming the Regulatory Process

Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act (H.R. 50 & S. 189)

Background

On February 4, 2015, The U.S. House of Representatives approved, by a vote of 250 to 173, H.R. 50 – the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2015.  The bill, which was introduced on January 6, 2015 by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), would require EPA and other federal agencies to conduct more detailed analyses of the costs that proposed regulations would impose on businesses and on state, local and tribal governments, and to provide greater transparency about unfunded federal mandates. H.R. 50 would expand the scope of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) by requiring independent agencies to comply with its requirements; adding stricter and more detailed criteria for assessing the costs that federal mandates would impose on the public and private sectors; requiring all UMRA statements and summaries to be “detailed”; and requiring agencies to consult with the private sector, including small businesses, in the development of regulatory proposals containing significant federal mandates.  The bill would also allow any House or Senate committee to require an agency to conduct a retrospective analysis of an existing regulation, and it would expand judicial review under UMRA to include review relating to agencies’ cost analyses and selection of the least costly or least burdensome alternative to a regulatory mandate.  In a February 3, 2015, Statement of Administration Policy, the White House indicated that the President would veto the bill if it is presented to him, asserting that it “would introduce needless uncertainty into agency decision-making and undermine the ability of agencies to provide critical public health and safety protections.” Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced a companion bill, S. 189, on January 20, 2015.

Key Actions

February 24, 2016 – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management held a hearing on "The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: Opportunities for Improvements to Support State and Local Governments," during which it discussed S. 189.  Rep, Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who sponsored the House companion bill (H.R. 50) that was approved a year ago, was among the witnesses who provided testimony. 

February 4, 2015 – The House approved H.R. 50 by a vote of 250 to 173.  Comprehensive information on the bill is available here.

February 3, 2015 – The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 50 indicating that the President would veto the bill if it is presented to him. 

February 2, 2015 – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued its report on H.R. 50.

January 27, 2015 – H.R. 50 was considered and marked up by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and approved by a vote of 20 to 13.

January 20, 2015 – Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced S. 189, the Senate versiom of the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2015.

January 6, 2015 – H.R. 50, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2015, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC).

 

Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 185)

Background

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 185 – the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015 – on January 13, 2015 by a vote of 250 to 175.  The bill, introduced on January 7, 2015 by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Colin Peterson (D-MN), was also introduced in the last Congress (then numbered H.R. 2122) and approved by the House as part of the Achieving Less Excess in Regulation and Requiring Transparency (ALERRT) Act, a package of four bills designed to limit the regulatory process.  Like its predecessor, H.R. 185 would require EPA and other regulatory agencies to adopt the least-costly rule considered during the rulemaking process that meets relevant statutory objectives.  In addition, the bill would call for advance notice of a “major rule, high-impact rule, negative-impact on jobs and wages rule, or a rule that involves a novel legal or policy issue arising out of statutory mandates”; allow judicial review of rules before they become final; and provide outside groups more input into the regulatory development process.    

Key Actions

January 13, 2015 – H.R. 185 was approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 250 to 175.  Comprehensive information on the bill is available here.

January 7, 2015 – H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Colin Peterson (D-MN).

 

RAPID Act (H.R. 348)

Background

The House approved the Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act of 2015 on September 25, 2015 by a vote of 233 to 170.  H.R. 348 seeks to streamline permitting for federally funded and federally permitted construction projects.  The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform convened a hearing on March 2, 2015 to take testimony on this and two other bills – the SCRUB Act and the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act.  The White House has threatened to veto the bill if it is presented to the President for signature. The RAPID Act was introduced on January 14, 2015 by Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA).

Key Actions

September 25, 2015 – The House approved the RAPID Act by a vote of 233 to 170.

September 17, 2015 – The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy indicating the President would veto the RAPID Act if the bill were presented to him for signature. 

March 25, 2015 – The Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act, H.R. 348, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 15 to 11.  Comprehensive information on the bill is available here.

March 2, 2015 – The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform convened a hearing on March 2, 2015 to take testimony on H.R. 348 and two other bills. 

January 14, 2015 – Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) introduced the Responsibly and Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act of 2015 (H.R. 348).

 

REINS Act (H.R. 427 & S. 226)

Background

The House approved H.R. 427 – well known as the REINS (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) Act – July 28, 2015.  The day before, the White House threatened to veto the bill if it was presented to the President for signature.  Passed by a vote of 243 to 165, the REINS Act would require Congress to approve any proposed or interim final “major” regulations before they become effective.  The bill provides that votes on affected rules must occur within 70 legislative days however, if both chambers fail to act within this timeframe any rule in question would be tabled.  A “major” regulation is defined as one that the Office of Management and Budget finds has resulted in, or is likely to result in, an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government agencies or geographic regions; or significant adverse impacts on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets.  As stated in the bill, “The purpose of this Act is to increase accountability for and transparency in the federal regulatory process. Section 1 of article I of the United States Constitution grants all legislative powers to Congress. Over time, Congress has excessively delegated its constitutional charge while failing to conduct appropriate oversight and retain accountability for the content of the laws it passes. By requiring a vote in Congress, the REINS Act will result in more carefully drafted and detailed legislation, an improved regulatory process, and a legislative branch that is truly accountable to the American people for the laws imposed upon them.”  The REINS Act was introduced in the House by Rep. Todd Young on January 21, 2015.  Senator Rand Paul introduced the REINS Act in the Senate (S. 226) by Senator Ran Paul (R-KY) also on January 21, 2015.  Rep. Young also introduced the bill in the last Congress, where it passed the House on August 2, 2013.

Key Actions

July 28, 2015 – The House approved the REINS Act by a vote of 243 to 165.

July 27, 2015 – The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy indicating the President would veto the REINS Act if the bill were presented to him for signature. 

April 15, 2015 – The REINS Act was approved by the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 15 to 10.  Comprehensive information on the bill is available here.

January 21, 2015 – Rep. Todd Young introduced H.R. 427, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2015.  A companion bill, S. 226, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Ran Paul (R-KY).

 

Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2015 (H.R. 527)

Background

The House of Representatives approved H.R. 527, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2015, on February 5, 2015 by a vote of 260 to 163.  The bill was introduced by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on January 26, 2015 and reported by the House Judiciary Committee – which Chabot chairs – on February 2, 2015, by vote of 19 to 8.  H.R. 527 would require EPA and other federal agencies to analyze the indirect economic effects, including those that are “reasonably foreseeable,” of their proposed rules on small businesses even of the business is not directly regulated by the rule; to do so, it would amend the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, which currently requires agencies to analyze only the direct economic effects of proposed regulations on small business entities. 

Key Actions

February 5, 2015 – The House of Representatives approved H.R. 527.  Comprehensive information on the bill is available here.

February 2, 2015 – The House Judiciary Committee marked up and reported out H.R. 527 by a vote of 19 to 8.

January 26, 2015 – Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) introduced H.R. 527, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2015.

 

Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act (H.R. 690)

Background

The House Judiciary Committee Approved the Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act of 2015 on March 24, 2015 by voice vote.  H.R. 690 would require any proposed regulation to include the Internet address of “a summary of not more than 100 words in length of the proposed rule, in plain language” to be posted on the regulations.gov website.  The Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act was introduced on February 3, 2015 by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO).

Key Actions

January 7, 2016 – The House of Representatives approved H.R. 712, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, by a vote of 244 to 173.  H.R. 712 combines three regulatory reform bills, including H.R. 690, the Providing Accoutability Through Transparency Act and H.R. 1759, the ALERT Act.  On January 5, 2016, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy indicating that if the President is presented with H.R. 712 his advisors will recommend that he veto it.

March 25, 2015 – The Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act, H.R. 690, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee by voice vote.  Comprehensive information on the bill is available here.

February 3, 2015 – Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) introduced H.R. 690, the Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act, in the House. 

 

Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act (H.R. 712 & S. 378)

Background

The House of Representatives approved H.R. 712, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, on January 7, 2016 by a vote of 244 to 173.  The approved bill is a modification of the originally introduced bill and incorporates two other measures introduced last year: H.R. 1759, the All Economic Regulations Are Transparent (ALERT) Act, and H.R. 690, Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act.  H.R. 712, introduced last February by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), is aimed at what some call “sue-and-settle” consent decrees and settlement agreements and would require the use of alternative dispute resolution processes that include industry and other stakeholders in the negotiations.  The provisions of H.R. 1749 would require federal agencies to submit to the Office of Management and Budget monthly online updates of each rule expected to be proposed or made final in the coming year.  Once a rule has been proposed, these monthly updates are to include the schedule for completing the rulemaking and estimates of the rule’s costs and job impacts; the bill specifically prohibits OMB from considering the benefits of a regulation when providing the total cost estimate for proposed and final rules. Such monthly disclosures are required to be published for at least six months before a new rule can take effect.  H.R. 690 would require any proposed regulation to include the Internet address of “a summary of not more than 100 words in length of the proposed rule, in plain language” to be posted on the regulations.gov website.  S. 378, a companion to the original version of H.R. 712, was introduced by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA).  The White House issued a SAP this week on H.R. 712 expressing strong opposition to the bill and indicating the President’s advisors would recommend that he veto it if the bill were to reach his desk: “H.R. 712 would undermine critical public health and safety protections, introduce needless complexity and uncertainty in agency decision-making, and interfere with agency performance of statutory mandates.”

Key Actions

January 7, 2016 – The House of Representatives approved H.R. 712, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, by a vote of 244 to 173.  H.R. 712 combines three regulatory reform bills, including H.R. 1759, the ALERT Act and H.R. 690, the Providing Accoutability Through Transparency Act.  On January 5, 2016, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy indicating that if the President is presented with H.R. 712 his advisors will recommend that he veto it.

March 24, 2015 – The Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, H.R. 712, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 20 to 11.  Comprehensive information on the bill is available here.

March 2, 2015 – The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform convened a hearing on March 2, 2015 to take testimony on H.R. 712 and two other bills. 

February 4, 2015 – Rep. Doug Collins introduced H.R. 712, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, in the House.  Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced a companion bill in the Senate – S. 378 – in the Senate.

 

SCRUB Act (H.R. 1155 & S. 1683)

Background

The House of Representatives approved the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that Are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act on January 5, 2016 by a vote of 245 to 174.  H.R. 1155 would establish a nine-member Retrospective Regulatory Review Commission to make recommendations to Congress for eliminating regulations that are unnecessary and costly.  The legislation authorizes an appropriation of up to $30 million to fund the commission and its work.  In addition, the bill includes a provision for a “cut-go” process whereby federal agencies would be prohibited from issuing any new rule unless the agency first eliminates an eligible rule identified by the Commission that imposes equal or greater costs.  The SCRUB Act was introduced on February 27, 2015 by Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO).  A companion bill, S. 1683, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on June 25, 2015 and was the subject of a hearing on four bills related to the regulatory process convened by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on September 16, 2015.

Key Actions

January 7, 2016 – The House of Representatives approved H.R. 1155, the SCRUB Act by a vote of 245 to 174.  On January 5, 2016, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy indicating that if the President is presented with H.R. 1155 in its current form, his advisors will recommend that he veto it.

September 16, 2015 – The Senate Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on a number of regulatory reform bills, including the SCRUB Act.

June 25, 2015 – Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the SCRUB Act in the Senate - S. 1683.

March 25, 2015 – The Searching for and Cutting Regulations that Are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act, H.R. 1155, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 17 to 12.  Comprehensive information on the bill is available here.

March 2, 2015 – The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform convened a hearing on March 2, 2015 to take testimony on H.R. 1155 and two other bills. 

February 27, 2015 – Rep. Jason Smith introduced the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that Are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act (H.R. 1155).

 

Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 708 & H.R. 1407)

Background

Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015 on March 11, 2015.  Under S. 708, a bipartisan Regulatory Review Commission would be appointed by the Congressional leadership and the President to evaluate and provide recommendations for modifying, consolidating or repealing “covered regulations” (i.e., those that have been in effect for at least 10 years) with the goal of reducing compliance costs, encouraging growth and innovation and improving competitiveness.  Priority for evaluations is to be given to covered regulations that “impose disproportionately high costs” on small business, create “substantial recurring paperwork burdens or transaction costs” or could be strengthened in terms of effectiveness while lowering regulatory costs. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) introduced a companion bill, H.R. 1407, in the House on March 17, 2015. Senators King and Blunt introduced the same bill in the last Congress, however it failed to advance.

Key Actions

April 27, 2016 – The Senate Committee on Small Business held a hearing on reforming the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

September 16, 2015 – The Senate Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on a number of regulatory reform bills, including S. 708.

March 17, 2015 – H.R. 1407 was introduced in the House by Rep. Patrick Murphey (D-FL).  Comprehensive information on the bill is available here.

March 11, 2015 – S. 708, the Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015, was introduced by Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Roy Blunt (R-MO).  Comprehensive information on the bill is available here.

 

ALERT Act (H.R. 1759)

Background

The House of Representatives approved H.R. 712, the Sunshine for Regualtory Decrees and Settlements Act, on January 7, 2016.  The bill combines three regulatory reform measures, including H.R. 1759, the All Economic Regulations are Transparent (ALERT) Act, which would require federal agencies to submit to the Office of Management and Budget monthly online updates on each rule expected to be proposed or made final in the coming year.  Once a rule has been proposed, these monthly updates are to include the schedule for completing the rulemaking and estimates of the rule’s costs and job impacts; the bill specifically prohibits OMB from considering the benefits of a regulation when providing the total cost estimate for proposed and final rules.  Such monthly disclosures are required to be published for at least six months before a new rule can take effect.  The ALERT Act was introduced on April 13, 2015 by Rep, John Ratcliffe (R-TX).

Key Actions

January 7, 2016 – The House of Representatives approved H.R. 712, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, by a vote of 244 to 173.  H.R. 712 combines three regulatory reform bills, including H.R. 1759, the ALERT Act.  On January 5, 2016, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy indicating that if the President is presented with H.R. 712 his advisors will recommend that he veto it.

May 19, 2015 – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved teh ALERT Act by a vote of 20-17.

April 15, 2015 – The House Judiciary Committee approved the ALERT Act by a vote of 14 to 9. Comprehensive information on the bill is available here.

April 13, 2015 – H.R. 1759, the All Economic Regulations are Transparent (ALERT) Act, was introduced by Rep, John Ratcliffe (R-TX).

 

Regulatory Predictability for Business Growth Act (H.R. 2631 & S. 1487)

Background

Rep. Steve Russell (T-OK) introduced H.R. 2631, the Regulatory Predictablity for Buisness Growth Act, on June 3, 2015, to require "adequate" notice to the public of revisions to interpretive rules.  The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commerical and Antitrust Law held a hearing on the bill on November 3, 2015.
Key Actions

November 3, 2015 – H.R. 2631 was the subject of a hearing convened by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regualtory Reform, Commerical and Antitrust Law.

June 3, 2015 H.R. 2631, the Regulatory Predictablity for Buisness Growth Act, was introduced by Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK).  A companion bill, S. 1487, was introduced by Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT).

 

Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act (S. 1607)

Background

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced S. 1607 – the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act – on June 18, 2015.  The bill authorizes the President to require independent agencies to comply with the regulatory analysis requirements applicable to other federal agencies.  The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a hearing on six bills related to regulatory reform, including S. 1607, on September 16, 2015. S. 1607 was approved and ordered reported by the Committee on October 7, 2015.
Key Actions

October 7, 2015 – The Senate Homeland Security Committee approved S. 1607.

September 16, 2015 – The Senate Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on a number of regulatory reform bills, including S. 1607.

June 18, 2015 – The Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act, S. 1607, was introduced by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH).

 

Smarter Regulations Through Advance Planning and Review Act (S. 1817)

Background

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced S. 1817 – the Smarter Regulations Through Advance Planning and Review Act – on July 21, 2015.  The bill incorporates retrospective reviews into major new rules to assess effectiveness and benefits in achieving regulatory objectives, and the impact on regulated entities.  The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a hearing on six bills related to regulatory reform, including S. 1817, on September 16, 2015. S. 1817 was approved and ordered reported by the Committee on October 7, 2015.
Key Actions

October 7, 2015 – The Senate Homeland Security Committee approved S. 1817.

September 16, 2015 – The Senate Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on a number of regulatory reform bills, including S. 1817.

Jul7 21, 2015 – The Smarter Regulations Through Advance Planning and Review Act, S. 1817, was introduced by Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).

 

Principled Rulemaking Act (S. 1818)

Background

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) introduced S. 1818 – the Principled Rulemaking Act – on July 21, 2015.  The bill limits rulemakings only to those that are required by law, necessary to interpret a law or made necessary by compelling public need; it also outlines "rulemaking considerations" on which an agency must base pending rules.  The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a hearing on six bills related to regulatory reform, including S. 1818, on September 16, 2015. S. 1818 was approved and ordered reported by the Committee on October 7, 2015.
Key Actions

October 7, 2015 – The Senate Homeland Security Committee approved S. 1818.

September 16, 2015 – The Senate Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on a number of regulatory reform bills, including S. 1818.

July 21, 2015 – The Principled Rulemaking Act, S. 1818, was introduced by Senator James Lankford (R-OK).

 

Early Participation in Regulations Act (S. 1820)

Background

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) introduced S. 1820 – the Early  Rulemaking Act – on July 21, 2015.  S. 1820 amends the Administrative Procedure Act to impose a mandate requiring all agencies to conduct an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including specificed analyses, for all pending major rules.  The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a hearing on six bills related to regulatory reform, including S. 1810, on September 16, 2015. S. 1820 was approved and ordered reported by the Committee on October 7, 2015.
Key Actions

October 7, 2015 – The Senate Homeland Security Committee approved S. 1820.

September 16, 2015 – The Senate Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on a number of regulatory reform bills, including S. 1820.

July 21, 2015 – The Early Participation in Regulations Act, S. 1820, was introduced by Senator James Lankford (R-OK).

 

REPAIR Act (S. 1393)

Background

Senator John Thune (R-SD) S. 1393 – the Real EPA Impact Reviews (REPAIR) ing Act – on May 20, 2015.  The REPAIR Act Requires the Regulatory Impact Analysis of any proposed or final rule to include an analysis that does not comprise other proposed or unimplemented rules.
Key Actions

May 20, 2015 – The Real EPA Impact Reviews (REPAIR) Act, S. 1393, was introduced by Senator John Thune (R-SD).

 

REVIEW Act (H.R. 3438 & S. 1927)

Background

On September 21, 2016, The House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 244 to 180, H.R. 3438, the Require Evaluation Before Implementing Executive Wishlists (REVIEW) Act, to prohibit any “high-impact” rule from taking effect until the final disposition of all actions seeking judicial review of the rule. The REVIEW Act defines a “high-impact” rule as one with an annual cost of more than $1 billion. The bill provides for an administrative stay of all such rules pending final judicial review if a legal challenge is filed within 60 days after publication of the rule in the Federal Register or within another time period explicitly provided for judicial review under the law authorizing a rulemaking; the bill also provides for the stay to be lifted if no challenge is filed.   The REVIEW Act was introduced by Rep. Thomas Marino (R-PA) on August 4, 2015.  Senator Dan Coats introduced a companion bill, S. 1927, on the same day.  Rep. Tom Marino has said of the bill, “The REVIEW Act is an important step in curtailing far-reaching regulations and ensures Washington rule makers are held accountable. The federal government cannot continue to pad its pocketbooks by stealing from the American people.”  On September 20, 2016, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy indicating that the President would veto this bill if it reaches his desk.

Key Actions

September 21, 2016 - The House passed H.R. 3438 by a vote of 244-180.  An amendment to to exempt from the bill rules that would reduce health care costs for seniors failed (189-232) as did an amendment to exempt from the bill regulations that would make higher education more affordable (184-237).

September 20, 2016 – The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy indicating that if the President is presented with H.R. 3438 his senior advisors will recommend that he veto the bill.

September 8, 2016 – The House Judiciary Committee passed, by a vote of 18-13, H.R. 3438, the REVIEW Act.

November 3, 2015 –The REVIEW Act was the subject of a hearing convened by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commerical and Antitrust Law.

August 4, 2015 – The Require Evaluation Before Implementating Executive Wish Lists (REVIEW) Act, H.R. 3438, was introduced by Rep. Thomas Marino (R-PA).  A companion bill, S. 1927, was introduced by Senator Dan Coats (R-IN).

 

Midnight Rule Relief Act (H.R. 4612/H.R. 4361)

Background

On July 6, 2016, the House or Representatives approved  by a vote of 241 to 181  H.R. 4361, the Federal Information Systems Safeguard Act, which incorporates the provisions of H.R. 4612, the Midnight Rule Relief Act.  H.R. 4612, which passed (20 to 17) the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on March 1, 2016 was introduced  on February 25, 2016 by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) to prohibit federal agencies from proposing or finalizing "major" rules from the day after a presidential election through inauguration day (January 20 of the following year).

Key Actions

July 6, 2016  The House approved a bill - H.R. 4361 (the Federal Information Systems Safeguard Act), by a vote of 241 to 181, that incorporates the provisions of H.R. 4612, the Midnight Rule Relief Act.

March 1, 2016  The House and Government Reform Committee voted in favor of H.R. 4612 by a vote of 20 to 17. 

February 25, 2016  H.R. 4612, the Midnight Rule Relief Act, was introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI)

 

USA Act (H.R. 4730 )

Background

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced H.R. 4730, Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act on March 14, 2016.  The bill provides for a mandatory rolling sequester and three-year sunset for all unauthorized (expired) federal programs.  In the first year after expiration, an unauthorized program would be subject to a 10-perecent sequester and in the second year after expiration, a 15-percent sequester; funding for the program would sunset at the end of the third year after a program's authorization expired.  If the program is reauthorized at any time during three years, the sequester and sunset would be vacated and the program wouild operate at full funding.  H.R. 4730 would also establish a Spending Accountability Commission (SAC) to set a full authorization schedule for all discretonary programs and agencies, conduct a comprehensive review of all mandatory program spending programs and help identify recommended mandatory spending cuts for consideration and enactment by Congress.
Key Actions

March 14, 2016 – The Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act, S. 4730, was introduced by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).  McMorris Rodgers posted this announcement of the bill.

 

Regulatory Integrity Act of 2016 (H.R. 5226)

Background

The House passed the Regulatory Integrity Act - H.R. 5226 - on September 14, 2016 by a vote of 250 to 171.  The bill was introdiced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) on May 13, 2016.  According to Rep. Walberg, the bill would provide greater transparency and prevent misconduct during the federal government's rulemaking process by requiring federal agencies to post, in a central location, all public communications the agency issues during the proposed rule stage.  The bill is intended to prevent federal agencies from publicly promoting propsoed regulatory actions.  
Key Actions

September 14, 2016 – The House of Representatives passed H.R. 5226 by a vote of 250 to 171. 

September 13, 2016 – The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy indicating that if the President is presented with H.R. 5226 his senior advisors will recommend that he veto the bill.

May 17, 2016 – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved H.R. 5226 by a vote of 22 to 14.  Information on the Committee's proceedings is available here.

May 13, 2016 – The Regulatory Integrity Act of 2016, H.R. 5226, was introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI).

 

Midnight Rules Relief Act (H.R. 5982/S. 3483)

Background

Another iteration of midnight rules relief legislation - H.R. 5982, the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2016 - was passed by the House of Representatives (240-179) on November 17, 2016.  (Another approach to the issue was adopted as part of a more comprehensive bill on July 6, 2016 - see H.R. 4612, above.)  The House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 5982, by a vote of 15 to five, on September 14, 2016.  The bill would amend the Congressional Review Act to allow Congress, through a joint resolution of disapproval, to overturn multiple “midnight rules” – those promulgated in the final days of a Presidential administration.  Under the law, the new President must sign off on any such joint resolution of disapproval; if s/he vetoes a resolution, Congress could override the veto with a two-thirds vote by the House and Senate. H.R. 5982 was introduced on September 9, 2016 by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).  A Senate companion bill - S. 3483 - was introduced November 29, 2016 by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Key Actions

November 29, 2016  S. 3483, a Senate companion to the House version of the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2016, was introduced by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI).

November 17, 2016  The House of Representatives passed H.R. 5982 by a vote of 240 to 179.

September 14, 2016  The House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 5982 by a vote of 15 to 5.

September 9, 2016  H.R. 5982, the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2016, was introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).