For weeks, the House has worked on a large-scale regulatory reform project to protect our people from the abuses of the bureaucracy, rebalance our constitutional system of government, and improve our economy.
We’re doing this through a two-part plan. First, in order to return power to the people we passed the REINS Act and Regulatory Accountability Act to restructure how the bureaucracy makes and the courts litigate regulations. Second, we used the Congressional Review Act to overturn particular harmful Obama-era regulations and send them to the dustbin of history.
We began with regulatory reform first, because we know that if we don’t change the structure of Washington and drain the bureaucratic swamp, we’ll only get the same results. Not only that, but the Congressional Review Act gives us a limited time to overturn these Obama-regulations. We have a small window of opportunity, and we’re taking it.
Here’s What We’ve Done
Overall, the House has passed 13 CRAs to overturn 13 terrible regulations:
- The Stream Buffer Rule (H.J. Res. 38) would have saddled mines with unnecessary regulations, putting up to 64% of America’s coal reserves off limits and threatening between 40,000 to 70,000 mining jobs. – Signed by President Trump
- The SEC Disclosure Rule for Resource Extraction (H.J. Res. 41) would have put an unreasonable compliance burden on publicly traded American energy companies, putting them at a disadvantage to foreign-owned businesses. – Signed by President Trump
- The Social Security Service’s Second Amendment Restrictions (H.J. Res. 40) would increase scrutiny on up to 4.2 million law-abiding disabled Americans attempting to purchase firearms, potentially depriving people of their constitutional rights without proper due process protections. – Passed by the Senate
- The Federal Contracts Blacklisting Rule (H.J. Res. 37) would unjustly block many businesses accused of violating labor laws from federal contracts before they’ve even had a chance to defend themselves in court.
- The Bureau of Land Management Venting and Flaring Rule (H.J. Res. 36) would further cap methane emissions in the oil and gas industry at a time when the industry is already dramatically reducing emissions, potentially wiping out family-owned marginal wells and costing an estimated $1 billion.
- The Bureau of Land Management Planning 2.0 Rule (H.J. Res. 44) would reduce local authority over large swaths of land out west, massively expanding the federal government’s control over more than 175 million acres of land—about 4,000 times the size of Washington, D.C.—in 11 western states.
- The Teacher Preparation Rule (H.J. Res. 58) would force states to use Washington’s standards to determine whether a teacher preparation program is effective, undermining local control over education and potentially exacerbating the shortage of special education teachers.
- The Education Accountability Rule (H.J. Res. 57) would be an unfunded mandate imposing Washington’s standard for how to assess schools on state and local governments.
- The Unemployment Insurance Drug Testing Rule (H.J. Res. 42) would severely restrict states’ ability to limit drug abusers from receiving unemployment benefits even if the drug users are not able and available for work, as the law requires.
- The State Retirement Plan Rule (H.J. Res. 66) would treat employees unequally by allowing states to force some workers into second-tier government-run retirement accounts that lack the same protections as private-sector accounts.
- The Local Retirement Plan Rule (H.J. Res. 67) would treat employees unequally by allowing certain localities to force some workers into second-tier government-run retirement accounts that lack the same protections as private-sector accounts.
- The National Wildlife Hunting and Fishing Rule (H.J. Res. 69) would infringe on Alaska’s right to sustainably manage fish and wildlife by overregulating hunting—a move that could set the stage for the federal government to undermine local control across the entire U.S.
- The Title X Abortion Funding Rule (H.J. Res. 43) would force states to administer Title X health funding to abortion providers, even if states want to redirect those funds to community health centers and hospitals that offer more comprehensive coverage.
Hard at Work
From defending American workers to protecting our rights to savings children’s lives, the House has been extremely productive the beginning of this year. But this is just the beginning. Regulatory reform—part of our 200-day agenda—will continue, and together with our efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare and reform the tax code, Republicans are just getting started.