Barack Obama is now officially a lame duck president. The Republican-controlled Congress is utilizing all of its power to prevent the “midnight” issuance of new Obama administration regulations.
On Thursday, the House passed a bill to overturn, in a single vote, anything passed by Barack Obama in his final weeks in the Oval Office. The Democrats, of course, objected to the Midnight Rule Relief Act.
The bill was passed essentially along party lines by a 240 to 179 vote.
The Midnight Rule Relief Act legislation would amend the existing Congressional Review Act, the Hill notes. The current act permits Congress to overturn multiple rules all at once by way of one binding resolution.
Virginia Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte strongly encouraged his peers to pass the Midnight Rule Relief Act from the floor of the House. He said the legislation would tell Americans their representatives heard them loud and clear on Election Day.
“The American people have said no to the continuance of the Obama administration’s policies,” Representative Goodlatte said.
“This bill guarantees that Congress can prevent any and all last-minute defiance of the people’s will by midnight regulations that stubbornly seem to entrench the last pieces of the administration’s bipartisan agenda.”
Although he will soon be packing up to leave the White House, Barack Obama still holds a huge amount of power. Congress is focused on doing everything it can to thwart any last minute moves that could impact the nation moving forward.
Earlier this week, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California warned all federal agencies not to sign off on any pending rules or regulations. McCarthy added all pending actions will be highly scrutinized and overturned if necessary after Donald Trump takes the oath of office.
Although the Midnight Rule Relief Act specifically targets any regulations being pushed through between now and inauguration day, Georgia Democrat Hank Johnson is arguing it could reach back in time as well. Johnson maintains the act could overturn rules that were enacted as far back as May.
Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas accused Republicans of trying to undermine Barack Obama. “This is en bloc destruction of regulations that may save lives,” she said. “This is to say, ‘In your eye, Mr. President.’ ”
California Representative Darrell Issa disagrees. He said it is not an attack on the president but a law that will allow Congress to “reassert the authority that’s constitutionally and inherently always ours.”
It’s about time, Mr. Issa. Help is on the way and will arrive on January 20th!
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