House Passes Two Regulatory Impact Measures

This week, the House passed two bills that would affect Federal regulatory actions – both those in effect and those to be implemented in the future – if they were to become law.
HR 21, the Midnight Rules Relief Act, provides for “en bloc consideration in resolutions of disapproval for ‘midnight rules.”  In effect, this means that lawmakers may undo (with a single vote) multiple Obama Administration regulations that were finalized in the last 60 legislative days of the President’s tenure.
At least two drinking water rules – UCMR4 and the latest CCL – would fall within the bounds of the “last 60 legislative days” timeframe should HR 21 be enacted.  There is also the possibility that other proposed rules could be finalized in the next couple of weeks and be affected.  ASDWA cannot be more certain of the impact because determining legislative days is a complicated process as these “days” frequently last more than 24 hours.  With the frequent Congressional recesses taken by the House over the last several months, “60 days” could reach far back into 2016.
HR 26, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, requires that Congress must approve major Federal regulations before they can take effect.  Within 70 legislative days, both the House and Senate must pass a joint resolution of approval before any rule with an economic impact of more than $100 million can take effect.
Although Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the REINS measure as S 21 yesterday, there is no clear indication as to how these two bills will be received in the Senate.  As you may expect, Senate Democrats are not likely to favor passage and, with such a slim majority, the Republicans may not be successful in gaining the necessary votes.