Resurrecting a Relic of the Past: The Harvard Law Review on the Congressional Review Act

From: Regulatory Pacesetters

Publisher’s Note: Former Senator Nickels and former Congressman McIntosh were instrumental in the establishment of CRE a number of years prior the first successful use of the CRA.


The above demonstrates that the implementation of the CRA from its inception was a creature of the Congress with little Executive Branch participation in overturning regulations; recent actions under the CRA might reinforce this view. The CRA is an excellent example of a frequently maligned Congress performing its constitutional duty to oversee the administrative state. When CRA actions are initiated in the Senate the statute provides a mechanism for the Congress to swiftly address the criticism that it delegates too much authority to Executive Branch agencies.

The CRA is an important mechanism within the administrative state; it has a use greater than a statute that merely provides control over midnight regulations. One key to its expanded use overtime is to have CRA actions originate in the Senate as was the case with its first successful use in overturning the ergonomics rule.

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