The Democrat-led House of Representatives is set to vote this week on whether to overturn three Trump-era rules, bringing a fresh blow to former President Donald Trump’s legacy.
Democrats are expected to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to reverse the three rules on methane regulations, employment discrimination, and lending practices.
Under the CRA, lawmakers and a new president can rescind rules established under a previous government if they were brought about shortly before the new administration came into power.
If successful, the effort to see the three policies rescinded would represent the first instance of Congress using the CRA to repeal Trump-era rules.
Already, the trio of resolutions aimed at overturning the three policies have made it through the Senate, with some GOP members crossing the aisle to propel two of the measures forward.
If the resolutions pass in the House, they will be sent to President Joe Biden’s desk for approval.
Speaking with The Hill, Daniel Pérez, a senior policy analyst at George Washington University’s Regulatory Studies Center, said the CRA is “an all-or-nothing tool” that gives a new government a route to “get rid of existing rules, but not revise them”.
“You have lots of different tools that you can use to shift regulatory policy,” he said. “This tool comes with some interesting sort of expedited procedures.”
Ultimately, he said, in the world of policymaking, “it’s a sledgehammer, not a scalpel”.
While in this case, the CRA provides a means for Democrats to quickly see Trump-era rules overturned, some have argued that the legislative tool has historically been most beneficial to Republicans.
“The Congressional Review Act is quite possibly the worst law Congress has ever enacted,” James Goodwin, a senior policy analyst with the left-leaning Center for Progressive Reform, told The Hill.
One of the Trump-era policies that could be overturned using the legislative tool is a rule getting rid of methane emissions standards for the oil and gas industry.
The employment discrimination policy requires the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to provide more information to employers during efforts to reach a resolution in cases out of court.
The third policy is a rule allowing lenders to offer loans at interest rates surpassing state limits if they work with a federally chartered bank based in a state with a higher ceiling.