Monday, May 06, 2019

What Happens If We Win--the CRA

Commented in a twitter thread today or yesterday about what would happen if a Democrat wins the Presidency next year.  Part of the discussion was to the effect that the new administration would reverse a lot of the Trump administrations regulatory actions.  The impression was that it would relatively easy.

Not true, at least for those regulations which were killed by Congress using its authority under the Congressional Review Act.  The reason is the wording of the act--once a regulation is killed by Congress the agency is prohibited from issuing a substantially similar regulation, forever.  The out is that Congress can authorize the agency to regulate again. 

The problem I see for a new Democratic administration is presumably such a Congressional authorization would require 60 votes in the Senate to be brought to the floor for passage (assuming the legislative filibuster is still available.   For some regulations such authority might be included in a budget reconciliation act, but others wouldn't.

The alternative for a new administration is to kill the  legislative filibuster, at least with respect to CRA actions.

The bigger problem, of which CRA is only part, is a decrease in stability of laws and regulations.  If citizens can assume that laws/regulations are permanent, they can act on that basis.  If they assume the next administration of the party in opposition will undo what the current party has done, there's less stability, less certainty.

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