Yesterday afternoon I posted on the House voting to repeal two Obama regulations using the Congressional Review Act. Last night the Senate acted and those bills are now awaiting President Trump’s signature.
The Senate Friday gave its thumbs up to a resolution to nullify a SEC rule requiring oil, gas and mining companies to reveal their payments to foreign governments.
It was the second time this week lawmakers sent President Donald Trump a Congressional Review Act resolution undoing an Obama administration regulation. He is expected to sign it.
The final vote was 52-47 along strict party lines. That was narrower than yesterday’s vote to kill an Interior Department coal mining rule, in which four Democrats sided with the majority.
The SEC rule was meant to fight corruption and had bipartisan roots — former Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) co-authored an amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law requiring it. But critics complained it put U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage. Then-Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who was sworn in as secretary of State this week, personally lobbied against it when the 2010 law was being drafted.
Oil companies and other opponents convinced a federal judge to toss out the first version of the rule in 2013, forcing the Obama administration to start over.
The House is acting to repeal other regulations today.
This is a good start but it underscores the weakness of the Congressional Review Act. It can only be used during a 1-year window at the change of administrations. Otherwise Congress is asking a president to repeal regulations promulgated by his own administration… regulations which his OMB and cabinet secretary could have prevented at the outset. It points to the critical need to severely circumscribe the ability of the federal bureaucracy to enact regulations without the express consent of Congress.