House GOP passes bill to undo ‘midnight’ Obama administration regulations

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, left, talks with Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, as the 115th Congress gets underway. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — House Republicans passed a bill aimed at reversing “midnight” or last-minute regulations created in the waning months of a presidential administration on Wednesday.

The Midnight Rules Relief Act, which passed the House mostly along party lines 238-184, would allow Congress to repeal rules finalized in the last 60 legislative days of President Obama’s administration.

“We are prioritizing to remove unnecessary regulatory burdens,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said on the House floor in favor of the bill.

If passed by the Senate and signed by President-elect Donald Trump, Congress would be allowed to bundle together multiple regulations and remove a large number at once by passing a joint resolution of disapproval.

A similar bill passed the House in November, but President Obama threatened to veto the legislation.

“The bill is an unnecessary abdication of legislative responsibility by the Republican-led Congress,” Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., said. “This Republican scheme sets a dangerous precedent… to disprove hundreds of carefully crafted policies at one time with very little notice or debate.”

“An end to the abuse of midnight rules will stop the current and future administrations from issuing new regulations just to further a political agenda, with costly impacts that could outlast the administration itself,” Goodlatte said in a statement applauding the legislation’s passage.