Capitol Correspondence - 02.06.17

Republicans Target Regulations to Repeal

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Last week, top Republican lawmakers held a retreat to sketch out plans for current Congressional session. One of the priorities was to list out Obama-era regulations that can be repealed under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which permits a 60-legislative-day “look back” period. One rule of particular interest to ANCOR members, the Department of Labor Overtime Exemption Rule, has already been the target of the CRA (see WICs article, “Senate Republicans File Motion to Roll Back Overtime Rule, June 13, 2016.) For regulations that were finalized within the CRA timeframe, a simple majority in Congress is required to pass repeal, which means that Republicans would not need any Democratic support. 

Though a list of regulations that was discussed at the GOP retreat is not publicly available, a document titled, “A Roadmap to Repeal,” produced by a conservative think-tank may provide some insights. In the past week, several regulations, including one lessening the environmental impact of coal mining, one prohibiting the venting of well gas on federal lands, and one requiring that people receiving SSA benefits due to mental health issues be placed on a registry prohibiting firearm ownership have all had the repeal process started, and each was included on this list. (The regulation regarding firearm registry has been widely denounced by mental health advocates as unduly burdensome and violative of equal rights. For a disability-rights perspective on this rule, read this article authored by several disability rights groups.)
According to a recent Washington Post article, polls show that many of the targeted regulations are viewed favorably by the majority of the public.