As President Donald Trump reaches his 100th day in the White House on April 29, he will have worked with Congress to rescind more regulations using the Congressional Review Act than any other president.
“We’re excited about what we’re doing so far. We’ve done more than that’s ever been done in the history of Congress with the CRA,” Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., told The Daily Signal in an interview, referring to the law called the Congressional Review Act.
The Congressional Review Act, the tool Trump and lawmakers are using, allows Congress to repeal executive branch regulations. Once the House and Senate pass a joint resolution disapproving of a particular regulation, the president signs the measure.
Passed in 1996 in concert with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act and then-Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America reform agenda, the Congressional Review Act is what the Congressional Research Service calls “an oversight tool that Congress may use to overturn a rule issued by a federal agency.”
The law also prevents agencies from creating similar rules with similar language.
Until this year, the law had been used successfully only once—in 2001, when Congress and President George W. Bush rescinded a regulation regarding workplace injuries promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration during the Clinton administration.
Here’s a look at the 11 regulatory rollbacks Congress has passed and Trump has signed:
- Regulations governing the coal mining industry (H.J. Res 41).
Mandated by President Barack Obama and finalized in 2016, these regulations “threatened to put domestic extraction companies and their employees at an unfair disadvantage,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.
The resolution, signed by Trump in February, repealed the rule and “could save American businesses as much as $600 million annually,” Spicer said.
— Rep. Mia Love (@RepMiaLove) February 14, 2017
- Regulations defining streams in the coal industry (H.J. Res 38).
“Complying with the regulation would have put an unsustainable financial burden on small mines,” Spicer said.
The so-called Stream Protection Rule included “vague definitions of what classifies as a stream,” Nick Loris, a fellow in energy and environmental policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email, and undoing it does away with ambiguities:
For many regulations promulgated by the Obama administration, they fundamentally disregarded the nature of the federal-state relationship when it comes to energy production and environmental protection.
The Stream Protection Rule … removed flexibility from mining steps and simply ignored that states have regulations in place to protect water quality. State and local environmental agencies’ specific knowledge of their region enables them to tailor regulations to promote economic activity while protecting the habitat and environment.
‘Trump signs bill undoing Obama coal mining rule’ https://t.co/yMfT5r5RGh
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2017