April 05, 2017

White House Tallies $10 Billion Saved by Repeal of Regulations

The White House estimates it will save $10 billion over 20 years by having rescinded 11 Obama-era regulations under a relatively obscure 1996 law that lets Congress fast-track repeal legislation with a simple majority.

The window to invoke the Congressional Review Act is April 28 and the Trump administration is hopeful that several other measures will pass both houses of Congress and reach the president’s desk before that date, Marc Short, White House director of legislative affairs, told reporters Wednesday.

“There was a huge risk to the economy,” Short said of regulations passed under former President Barack Obama. He said the Obama administration authorized a historic number of regulations and President Donald Trump is trying to use the CRA to roll back rules as he promised before his election.

Under the CRA, Congress and the White House can only rescind regulations approved in the last 60 days of the previous administration. Until this year, Congress had only used it successfully once before in 2001 to kill off a Labor Department ergonomics rule adopted under the administration of President Bill Clinton.

Congress now has used the legislative tool to roll back Obama-era rules on ranging from pollution from coal mining waste to aimed at preventing people with serious mental-health problems from buying guns.

In all, the law has been used to repeal 11 rules, with two more awaiting the president’s signature, according to the watchdog group Public Citizen.

About two dozen measures with CRA’s targeting them remain, but because the law can only be used on rules issued in the final six months of the previous administration, Congress only has only a few more weeks to use the procedure, Amit Narang, a regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen said in an interview.

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