Republican lawmakers are aiming to use the Congressional Review Act as their weapon to tackle regulations President Barack Obama has enacted.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte told The Hill
that using the CRA wasn't "possible ... in a divided Congress, but now that it is, we certainly are interested in review regulations to make sure they meet with congressional intent."
The CRA allows for Congress to review and disapprove rules submitted by federal agencies before they go into effect. However, in order to disapprove a rule, Congress has to pass a joint resolution in both the House and Senate.
Even though the CRA has been in effect since 1996, Congress has only disapproved of one rule, even though 43 resolutions in total have been introduced by lawmakers.
"The CRA has been used sparingly in the past and some folks may say it's too aggressive, but frankly the aggressive nature of this administration's regulations demands an aggressive response," a senior aide to Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe told The Hill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threatened to draft resolutions last year to prevent the rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency to cut carbon emissions by new power plants from going into effect.
Inhofe, who is now the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is also honing in on the EPA.
"There is widespread agreement among Republicans and the business community that the EPA under the Obama administration is out of control and it's taking things to the extreme," Inhofe's aide added.
Lawmakers are only allowed to try to disapprove a new regulation within 60 days of when the rule takes effect, and a filibuster may not be used to try to stop a resolution from passing.
Obama still has the ability to veto any CRA resolution, and it is unlikely Republicans will garner enough Democratic support to overturn a veto.
However, GOP lawmakers still believe it could be an effective strategy to highlight what they think are Obama's "job-killing" regulations as well as show they are trying to do something about them. And they argue it will at least force the Democrats in Congress to go on the record either supporting or opposing Obama administration rules.
"The desire of Democrats to distance themselves from the president is only beginning to grow," the senior Inhofe aide said.
"One of the best ways they can distance themselves is by voting to overturn bad regulations," he added.
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