March 28, 2017

15 Resolutions of Disapproval

  • The Senate could pass 15 Congressional Review Act resolutions of disapproval, negating Obama-era regulations.
  • The Senate has passed 11 so far, and four more are ready for consideration.

The Senate has passed 11 resolutions disapproving Obama-era midnight rules under the Congressional Review Act. These resolutions have provided Americans substantial regulatory relief. The four resolutions below are ready for consideration.

Healthcare CRA

Title X Grants (Ernst): Title X of the Public Health Service Act provides grants to states and nonprofits for family planning services. In December, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule that limits Title X grant recipients’ ability to pick subrecipients. The rule limits states from determining how grants are distributed and is another Washington intrusion in health care. State and local entities should have the freedom to determine the best Title X providers to serve the needs of their citizens.

Pensions CRA

State Mandated Pension Plans (Hatch): In August, the Department of Labor issued a rule on state-mandated retirement savings plans. It offers states a “safe harbor” from the protections of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act if they must mandate that employers not offering a retirement plan automatically enroll their workers in the state-run plan. Employers are prohibited from making contributions, and the rule does not require government-run plans to be portable or permit workers to withdraw their savings at any time. DOL perform no analysis of whether states have the capacity to run these plans without posing a burden on taxpayers or jeopardizing participants. 

Municipality-Run Pension Plans (Hatch): In December, DOL issued a rule to expand the ERISA safe harbor previously offered for state-mandated retirement plans to also cover cities and counties. It covers any place that meets three criteria: it must have the authority under state law to require private employers’ participation; it must have a population equal to or greater than the population of the least populous state; and it cannot be within a state that has a state-mandated retirement savings program for private-sector employees.

Environment CRA

Waste Prevention (Barrasso): In November, the Bureau of Land Management issued a rule to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas production. The rule exceeds BLM’s authority by regulating air quality, which Congress expressly vested in states and the Environmental Protection Agency. It duplicates existing regulations and ignores common-sense ways to curb emissions.

Issue Tag: Senate