Clean Air Act and Related Issues - 115th Congress (2017-2018)

Regulatory Reform

 

Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 5)

Background

H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, passed the House on January 11, 2017 by a vote of 238-183.  Introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on January 3, 2017, H.R. 5 includes a series of bills that passed by the House in the last Congress, including 1) the Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 185), to require adoption of the least costly version of a rule; 2) the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (H.R. 4786), to repeal the Chevron and Auer doctrines, which provide judicial deference to federal agencies' statutory and regulatory interpretations; 3) the Small Business Regulatory Flexibilty Improvement Act (H.R. 527), to require federal agencies to analyze indirect economic effects of proposed rules on small businesses even if the business is not directly regulated by the rule; 4) the REVIEW (Require Evaluation Before Implementing Executive Wishlists) Act (H.R. 3437), to prohibit any "high-impact" rule from taking effect until final disposition of all actions seeking judicial review of the rule; 5) the ALERT (All Regulations Are Transparent) Act (H.R. 1759), to 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; and 6) the Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act (H.R. 690), to require any proposed regulation to include the Internet address of a summary, "in plain language" and "of not more than 100 words in length," of every proposed rule.    

Key Actions

January 11 2017 – After consideration of the bill, including a floor statement by the bill sponsor, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the House approved H.R. 5 by a vote of 238-183.

January 3, 2017 – H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, was introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).

 

Midnight Rules Relief Act (H.R. 21, S. 34)

Background

H.R. 21, the Midnight Rules Relief Act, was approved by the House on January 5, 2017 by a vote of 238-184.  Introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) on January 3, 2017, the bill, which is identical to H.R. 5982 passed by the House in the last Congress, 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. (January 20 of the following year).  A Senate companion to H.R. 21 - S. 34 - was introduced by Senator Ron Johnson on January 5, 2017.

Key Actions

January 5, 2017H.R. 21 passed the House by a vote of 238-184.

January 5, 2017 – Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) introduced a companion biill, S. 34, in the Senate.

January 3, 2017 – H.R. 21, the Midnight Rules Relief Act, was introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). 

 

REINS Act (H.R. 26, S. 21)

Background

H.R. 26, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, was approved by the House on January 5, 2017 by a vote of 237-187.  Introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) on January 3, 2017, H.R. 26 would require Congress to approve any proposed or interim final "major" regulation before it becomes 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 was 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.  Of the amendments made to the bill during floor debate was one (offered by Rep. Luke Messer [R-IN]) to require each federal agency promulgating a new rule to completely offset its cost by amending or repealing an existing rule. Among the amendments that failed were ones offered by Democrats to exempt from the bill rules that result in reduced incidence of cancer, premature mortality, asthma attacks or respiratory disease in children; will reduce levels of lead in drinking water; and pertain to the protection of public health and safety. Also rejected was an amendment to require an accounting of the greenhouse gas emission impacts associated with a rule as well as an analysis of the impacts on low-income and 2 rural communities and, if the rule increases carbon dioxide by a certain amount or increases the risk of certain health impacts to low-income or rural communities, then the rule would be defined as a “major rule.”  A Senator companion bill S. 21, was introduced January 4, 2017, by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).

Key Actions

January 5, 2017 H.R. 26 was passed by the House by a vote of 237-187.

January 4, 2017 –  Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a companion bill, S. 21.

January 3, 2017 – H.R. 26, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, was introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA).

 

Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act (H.R. 469, S. 119)

Background

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), on January 12, 2017, introduced companion bills aimed at what some call “sue-and-settle” consent decrees and settlement agreements.  The Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2017 – S. 119 and H.R. 469 – would require the use of alternative dispute resolution processes that include industry and other stakeholders in the negotiations.

Key Actions

January 12, 2017 – Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act - H.R. 469 and S. 119 - in the House and Senate.