Congressional Review Act

The Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) implements a process for Congressional review of agency rules.  5 U.S.C. §§ 801-08.  Under the CRA, agencies must submit rules to both houses of Congress and to the Government Accountability Office prior to their taking effect, and major rules (such as those for which the economic impact exceeds $100 million) are delayed for 60 days to permit Congressional review.  Congress may pass a joint resolution of disapproval that, if signed by the President, overturns the rule at issue.  Congress has recently considered legislation that would reverse the presumption that rules take effect if not disapproved, providing that all major rules shall have no force or effect until affirmatively approved by a joint resolution of Congress.  Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011 (“REINS Act”), S. 299, 112th Cong. (2011); H.R. 10, 112th Cong. (2011).  This project studied the CRA and potential improvements to its procedures for Congressional review of agency regulations.  Morton Rosenberg, a former Specialist in American Public Law with the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service, served as the consultant on the project.  The Committee on Judicial Review discussed the Congressional Review Act project at its September 27, 2011 meeting.  At this meeting, the Committee chose not to proceed with recommendations pertaining to the Congressional Review Act.