Technical Reform of the Congressional Review Act
The Congressional Review Act
The Congressional Review Act (CRA) enables Congress to disapprove a final rule issued by a federal agency. A rule disapproved using this mechanism is not only nullified; the agency is also prevented from reissuing a “substantially similar” rule in the future unless Congress authorizes it to do so via subsequent legislation. Congress generally has 60 days to review rules, but there is a provision that also allows an incoming Congress to review the last 60 days of rules issued during the previous Congress.
In a draft report for the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) on possible reforms to the CRA, University of South Carolina School of Law associate professor Jesse M. Cross cites research from Bridget Dooling throughout the report.
Quotes from the report:
- As Bridget Dooling has put it: “Given the GAO’s other legal work to prepare legal opinions and decisions on federal bid protests, appropriations law, and other matters, legislators made a reasonable choice [in using GAO for this CRA function].”
- Bridget Dooling has noted that, as the CRA has become more frequently used and more politically controversial, the incentives for GAO to extricate itself from the CRA process increase.
- As Bridget Dooling has documented, this 2018 action corresponded with a broader trend of Congress requesting GAO legal opinions with respect to rules issued significantly farther back in time.
The references in the report are from Bridget Dooling's American University Law Review article -- Into the Void: The GAO's Role in the Regulatory State
For further insights and analysis on the Congressional Review Act, please visit: https://regulatorystudies.columbian.gwu.edu/congressional-review-act