By Natalia Castro
The House has done a phenomenal job rooting out the government overreach and constraining regulations which the Obama Administration used to grow the executive branches power. Now, after 14 successfully passed Congressional Review Act (CRA) rescissions in the House, the Senate is trailing behind having only passed eight. While the nomination process continues to occupy the second branch of Congress, Senators ought to remember that with only a 60-legislative day window for rescinding regulations, expediting this process must remain a strong priority.
Here are the six CRA regulatory rescissions which the House has pushed through to the Senate but are still waiting on a vote:
H.J. Res. 36: Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the Bureau of Land Management relating to “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation”. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) successfully led this legislation through the House on a 221-191 vote. Upon Senate passage and Presidential approval, this legislation will remove regulatory burdens from small businesses with under 500 employees, saving an estimated $55,200 per year. This CRA has been passed in the House since Feb. 3, making it unclear why the Senate has yet to take action.
H.J. Res. 43: Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with title X requirements by project recipients in selecting subrecipients. This law effectively costs the federal government between $11,400-$24,600 a year to ensure that services, such as family planning, are of adequate availability in states. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) introduced this legislation in late January and within two weeks passed the House on a 230-188 vote, making it a clear priority.
H.J. Res. 66: Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by States for non-governmental employees, introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI). This regulation addresses the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and serves to “provides guidance for states in designing such programs so as to reduce the risk of ERISA preemption of the relevant state laws.” Rather than allow states to implement the law on their own terms, the executive branch has expanded its control over state.
H.J. Res. 67: Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by qualified State political subdivisions for non-governmental employees. This rule regulates the how states design and operate payroll deduction savings programs that use automatic enrollment, without causing the states or private-sector employers to have established employee pension benefit plans. While this rule does not articulate any specific costs associated with the rules implementation, it does admit that costs exist. The Federal Register writes, “Qualified political subdivisions may incur administrative and operating costs including mailing and form production costs. These potential costs, however, are not directly attributable to the final rule; they are attributable to the political subdivision’s creation of the payroll deduction savings program pursuant to its authority under state law.” This regulation simply imposes federal guidelines with the hope of state funding, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) led the 234-191 vote to pass this rescission through the House.
H.J. Res. 69: Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the Department of the Interior relating to “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska”. Alaska’s own Rep. Don Young (R-AK) sponsored the bill which received 225 “yeas” in the House. With hunting representing a significant cultural and economic lifestyle in Alaska, the net loss the communities should be about $5.9 million annually. By stalling on regulations, the Senate is costing communities million and dismantling their way of life.
H.J. Res. 83: Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness”, sponsored by Rep. Bradley Byrne and passing the House on a 231-191 vote. This regulation amends record keeping strategies for employers in regards to work related injuries, by changing their system of record maintenance the Department of Labor is expected to cost employers an additional $18.54 per employee injury or illness, equating to an estimated national cost of $1.85 million per year.
Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.