Connolly, Maloney, Krishnamoorthi, Speier Introduce Legislation to Provide Oversight of “Midnight Regulations” Enacted During Presidential Transitions
Washington, D.C. (Dec. 15, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, and Committee Member Rep. Jackie Speier introduced the Midnight Regulations Review Act (H.R. 8956), to provide oversight of midnight regulations enacted during the presidential transition period.
“The recent actions of the Trump Administration have shown us firsthand how outgoing administrations can take advantage of midnight rulemaking for partisan, political gain,” the Members stated. “Presidential transitions demand rigorous oversight, and midnight rulemaking is no exception.”
Regulations rushed through the publication process at the end of a president’s tenure, often called “midnight regulations,” are subject to little accountability and can lead to harmful, unvetted policies. If a midnight rule is finalized, a new administration is forced to work through the time-consuming rulemaking process to change or repeal the rule, potentially diverting critical resources at a substantial cost.
The Midnight Regulations Review Act would require the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide the House Committee on Oversight and the Reform and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs a list of the major rules promulgated during the end of the Trump Administration. The bill also would require GAO to report on a subsection of these regulations within a year after a new president is inaugurated.
In addition, the Members and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler sent a letter to GAO requesting that they identify major rules published in the Federal Register during the 116th and the beginning of the 117th Congress that are potentially subject to a joint resolution of disapproval during the 117th Congress.
Click here to read the one-pager to the Midnight Regulations Review Act.
Click here to read the letter to GAO.