Republicans Get Ready to Dismantle Regulations

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 30 2010 9:40 AM

Republicans Get Ready to Dismantle Regulations

A communications member of Sen. Jim DeMint's staff brings our attention to this Wall Street Journal op-ed . Nothing new in there, just some rot until the last two grafs.

Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison plans to introduce a "resolution of disapproval" under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to overturn regulatory agency orders with a simple majority in the House and Senate.

The Congressional Review Act could get a workout over the next two years if President Obama tries to use regulatory agencies—the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—to achieve the policies he can't get through Congress. Mr. Genachowski's Internet coup would be a good place to start.

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The resolutions of disapproval were explained earlier this week in an article by Brian Beutler. Opponents of new regulations put in place by the executive branch can introduce said resolutions, seek 51 votes for them in the Senate, and force the president to veto them in order to defend his new regulations. If that sounds like it introduces uncertainty about the actions taken by the White House, it does. It also seems to me like a response to the all-but-certain Democratic attempt to reform the filibuster to make the Senate work on bills being held up by the minority. In this case and in that case, the goal is to make the Senate more dynamic and able to govern on majority votes.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.