Priority efforts to gut or eliminate Obama era rules that Republicans claim unfairly restrict their industry and business buddies are continuing. Over a dozen Obama rules protecting waterways near coal mines, disclosure requirements of labor law violations (wages and workers rights) for businesses bidding on federal contracts and restrictions on broadband companies (such as Verizon, AT&T and Comcast) selling personal data have already been individually overturned this year under the Congressional Rules Act. Currently under the CRA Congress can overturn one executive rule at a time – but that may soon be turbo-charged by the GOP.
To speed their frenzy to demolish, the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017, now in the Senate, would amend the CRA to enable legislative disapproval of multiple (executive) rules at once. Midnight Rules was passed in the House and is now sponsored in the Senate by chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ron Johnson (R-WI) , and a Senate panel is considering the legislation. The Midnight Rules Relief Act would save Congress time, by allowing lawmakers to strike down multiple regulations in one vote, Johnson explained.
While Republicans have seen the Congressional Review Act as a valuable tool to strike regulations, Democrats are hoping to abolish the CRA, fearing it is being used to eliminate environmental, health, and safety protections.
So while Trump noisily babbles and blunders his way to whatever fate awaits him keep an eye on Republicans in Congress while they take care of business — scurrying around demolishing rules intended to protect individuals and the environment.
We have to wonder if the title of the bill — the Midnight Rules Relief Act — is another bit of inadvertent truth-telling by the GOP. It’s the thieves’ hour when a lot of questionable legislation gets shoved through an inattentive body.