Top Republican warns agencies against 'midnight regulations'

Top Republican warns agencies against 'midnight regulations'
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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyBarr to attend Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday California delivers swift suit after Trump orders water diversion Twitter experimenting with new tool to label lies and misinformation MORE (R-Calif.) sent a letter to government agencies Tuesday warning them against finalizing any pending rules or regulations in the waning days of the Obama administration.

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“Should you ignore this counsel, please be aware that we will work with our colleagues to ensure that Congress scrutinizes your actions – and, if appropriate, overturns them – pursuant to the Congressional Review Act,” McCarthy said in the letter, which was also signed by House Committee Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).  

The CRA is a rarely successful tool Republicans have to overturn a rule by way of a resolution within 60 days after it’s finalized, but it requires the president’s signature to do so.

GOP lawmakers are trying to stop the agencies from releasing any "midnight regulations," those finalized in a lame duck session. The House is expected to vote this week on the Midnight Rules Relief Act. The bill would amend the CRA to allow Congress to overturn a number of rules in a single vote.

In his letter Tuesday, McCarthy urged the agencies to consider the consequences of last minute rulemaking.

“By refraining from acting with undue haste, you will ensure that agency staff may fully assess the costs and benefits of rules, making it less likely that unintended consequences will harm consumers and businesses,” his letter said.

“Moreover, such forbearance is necessary to afford the recently elected administration and Congress the opportunity to review and give direction concerning pending rulemakings.”