Improving regulatory policy
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Our Research

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Promotes best practices for regulatory analysis

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Improves regulatory processes and institutions

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Serves as a source for objective information


"The GW Regulatory Studies Center has done phenomenal work in cataloguing and analyzing reforms in regulatory policy...[it is] a national treasure."

Cass R. Sunstein
Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard
OIRA Administrator Under President Obama

Featured: The Congressional Review Act

What it does

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) establishes procedures for Congress to overturn final rules issued by federal agencies. After an agency's rule is reported to Congress, members of Congress have 60 days to introduce a joint resolution disapproving of the rule. When signed into law, these resolutions of disapproval (RDs) overturn the rule in question and bar agencies from issuing a "substantially similar" rule. The CRA offers two unique mechanisms: the Senate "fast-track" procedures and the "lookback" period. For an in-depth discussion of these mechanics and more, see our Regulatory Insight A Lookback at the Law: How Congress Uses the CRA. 

CRA Use Trending Upward for Both Major and Non-major Rules, 1996-2022

Line chart showing trends in the number of Congressional Review Act resolutions introduced by calendar year. The chart peaks in 2017, with 67 resolutions introduced in Congress at the beginning of the Trump administration.

The Lookback Period

The CRA's lookback provision gives Congress an additional chance to review rules issued in the period starting 60 working days before the end of a session of Congress through the beginning of the subsequent session of Congress.


Will History Repeat Itself? Forecasting CRA Use in a Second Trump Administration. Steve Balla and Sarah Hay, May 3, 2024. What policy areas are most likely to be challenged if Trump wins a second term in the 2024 presidential election?

A Lookback at the Law: How Congress Uses the CRA. Sarah Hay, February 13, 2024. The CRA establishes procedures for overturning final rules issued by federal agencies. How does the CRA work? And how has Congress used the CRA since its inception in 1996?

Explore Our Coverage

Our Latest Publications


Economically Significant Final Rules Published by Presidential Year

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Biden’s Spring 2024 Unified Agenda

Overview of the Unified Agenda highlighting notable actions that agencies plan to take in the near term

Testimony for Hearing: An Examination of CARB's In Use Locomotive Regulation

Submitted testimony of Roger Nober for July 9, 2024 hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee

An SEC Commissioner’s Thoughts on Regulating Blockchain and Crypto

Summary of the fireside chat with Commissioner Hester Peirce, a session at the June 2024 event, Regulation by Enforcement: Blockchain and Crypto.

View All Publications >> 

Current Highlights


"Your input and expertise during the drafting of the Early Participation in Regulations Act of 2019 and SMART Act of 2019 was invaluable."

Joint Statement (PDF)
Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Senator James Lankford (R-OK)


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