Barletta Backs Curb on Abusive, Last Minute Rules & Regulations

Jan 4, 2017
Press Release
Bill Allows Congress to Vote to Stop “Midnight Rules” by Outgoing Administration

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today voted in favor of legislation that makes it easier for Congress to block last minute rules and regulations issued by outgoing presidential administrations.  The Midnight Rules Relief Act, H.R. 21, addresses the propensity of outgoing administrations to issue massive numbers of rules as their days in office wind down.  The legislation affords Congress greater flexibility by allowing lawmakers to disapprove of such rules and regulations en bloc, rather than one at a time, as currently outlined in the Congressional Review Act.  The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 238-to-184 and now heads to the Senate for its consideration.

“These last minute rules and regulations often run counter to the wishes of the people, as outgoing administrations rush to entrench the last pieces of a partisan or ideological agenda,” Barletta said.   “This is a layer of protection for American citizens, who should not be governed by unelected Washington, DC bureaucrats, who do not have to face the voters on Election Day.”

Under the Midnight Rules Relief Act, Congress will be able to stop all improper last minute rules in one disapproval resolution.  The bill does not limit the authority of the Executive Branch, since administrations will remain free to issue rules and regulations up to the inauguration of the next administration.  This simply provides Congress with a workable and versatile tool to block abusive or objectionable rules.

“Burdensome and meddlesome regulations are stifling the growth of private enterprise and job creation,” Barletta said.  “These rules are often an attempt to force through policies that have already been rejected by voters.  This is an extra guard against that practice.”