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WSJ Editorial: CRA can restore accountability to “lawless bureaucracy”

Calling the Congressional Review Act “the most immediate tool Republicans have to reimpose democratic accountability on a lawless bureaucracy,” The Wall Street Journal editorial board encouraged Republicans to take full advantage of the act to repeal regulations.

While the editorial board extolled the traditional reading of the act as a way to confront bureaucracy, it had particular praise for using the act to repeal regulations that were never submitted to Congress. As has been written on this site, the Congressional Review Act’s requirement that rules be submitted to Congress before they take effect means that any rule not submitted to Congress cannot take effect.

“The CRA’s opening lines require any agency promulgating a rule to present a “report” containing the rule’s text and definition. The CRA explains that Congress’s review period begins either on the date the rule is published in the Federal Register, or the date Congress receives the report—whichever comes later.

Thus any rule for which any Administration (going back to 1996) failed to submit a report is fair game for CRA review and repeal. The Trump Administration can begin the clock merely by submitting a report to Congress.”

Wall Street Journal Subscribers can read the full editorial at The Wall Street Journal.

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