Getting Rid of Federal Government Rules

A couple of random thoughts triggered by a Wall Street Journal article.  The Republican Congress has been using the Congressional Review Act to rescind rules enacted by various Executive Branch agencies.  The Act allows Congress, by simple majority vote (no Senate filibuster) and Presidential signature to rescind rules so long as the rescission is done within 60 days of the rule’s promulgation in the Federal Register or formal reporting to Congress.  There are potsful of rules that haven’t yet passed that threshold, and so Congress can reach back years for rescissions under the Act.

Senate Democrats have insisted the rules have lengthy debate time….

This isn’t necessary.  The rules have already been debated extensively, both in the public and via the rule’s public comment period during which experts in the subject matter as well as the general public have conducted extensive debate.  Except for rules rushed through at the end of a President’s term or whose comment period was held sub rosa, like many of the EPA and CFPB rules have been.  Those rules had their chance at lengthy debate, and the relevant rule-making authority has already said that lengthy debate wasn’t necessary.

Senator Chris Coons (D, DE) said the “Republican majority has misused” the act and has repealed regulations “adopted genuinely to protect the environment, protect consumers, protect the public.”

Of course.  It’s the thought that counts for Democrats, not the actual <ahem> disparate impact they have in their failure to protect much of anything and the actual damage they do, especially to consumers, citizens, and individual choices.

Congress should push the pace; the extraneous rules are costing us money.  Just the 13 rescinded already have saved the public some $85 billion.  There’s also nothing in the Act that prevents Congress from batching up related rules (or unrelated rules, come to that) and rescinding them en masse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *