Workplace safety and health regulations would be among those affected by a sweeping measure making its way through Congress that would enable lawmakers to overturn any and all regulations passed during the final year of a President’s term.
H.R. 21: Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017, introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Cal.), was approved by the House of Representatives and now goes to the Senate. The measure could overturn nearly 4,000 regulations passed during 2016, including OSHA’s respirable silica and electronic recordkeeping rules.
The measure reads: “In applying section 802 to rules described under paragraph (1), a joint resolution of disapproval may contain one or more such rules if the report under subsection (a)(1)(A) for each such rule was submitted during the final year of a President’s term.”
The Midnight Rules Relief Act would go considerably beyond the scope of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) currently in place that allows Congress to overturn new federal regulations. The CRA requires federal agencies promulgating rules to submit reports to each House of Congress and to the Comptroller General that contains the rule, a description of the rule (including whether it is a major rule), and the proposed effective date of the rule. Congress can issue a bill disapproving of the rule within 60 legislative days. If the president signs the bill or if Congress overrides a presidential veto, the rule will be invalidated.
PredictGov predicts the Midnight Rules Relief Act has a 14% chance of being enacted.