Law backed by Harry Reid will haunt Dems in 2017
By Susan Crabtree | 12/16/16
One of outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s greatest legislative achievements will come back to haunt Democrats early next year.
President-elect Trump has promised to repeal two federal regulations for every new one issued, and the Congressional Review Act, which Reid co-sponsored in 1996, will give him a running start.
The law gives Congress the power to rescind any unwelcome late, so-called “midnight” regulations from an outgoing president through a simple majority vote in both chambers of Congress.
Since its passage as part of House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America in 1996, it has only been successfully used once, but Republicans are promising to leverage its full power in January to kill rules the Obama administration has issued in its last months in office.
In his 77-minute farewell address on the Senate floor last week, Reid included the Congressional Review Act as one of his top accomplishments in the Senate, along with passage of Obamacare, the 2009 stimulus bill, a taxpayer bill of rights and several other measures
Republicans, with the help of the Congressional Research Service, have compiled a list of roughly 50 regulations they could go after early next year.
“I know some of my Democrat colleagues say, ‘Why did you do that?'” Reid said during his final speech on the Senate floor. “Here’s what I did. I worked with Republican Sen. Don Nickles from Oklahoma … Don and I talked about this. We knew that the administrations would change and it would affect every president, Democrat and Republican.”
Good old Harry left something worth something.