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House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:

10:00 a.m.: Morning Hour
12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes”
4:30 – 5:00 p.m. 5:00 – 5:30 p.m.

H.R. 21 – Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017 (Rep. Issa – Judiciary) (One hour of debate).  This bill would amend the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to allow the 115th Congress to disapprove en masse rules and regulations submitted at the end of President Obama’s Administration.  Under current law, Congress has to disapprove of one regulation at a time. 

This bill would allow the Republican Congress and the new President to overturn agency rules that have been developed in strict compliance with robust and well-understood procedural requirements of Federal law, including the Administrative Procedure Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, and the Congressional Review Act.  These procedural requirements ensure that new rules are developed in a transparent and methodical manner that considers the input of stakeholders.  Should this legislation be enacted, it would allow the Republican Congress and the new president to overturn numerous regulations to protect the health and safety of the American people.  Additionally, it would prevent any invalidated regulation from being issued again by the same agency, absent any congressional action.  

House Republicans falsely argue that this legislation is needed in order to ensure the Obama Administration does not rush through regulations before the next Presidency, but most of the regulations it would put in jeopardy have been meticulously studied and have been put through a highly vetted process months before the 2016 Election.  The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards (CSS) which represents more than 150 consumer, labor, research, faith, and other public interest groups sent out a letter regarding H.R. 5982 which is nearly identical legislation that passed the House on a partisan basis last year.  The letter stated that H.R. 5982 “is based on a fatally flawed premise – namely, that regulations which are proposed or finalized during the so called ‘midnight’ rulemaking period are rushed and inadequately vetted.”

House Democrats are ready and willing to work with House Republicans to improve the lives of the American people, so it is disheartening that one of the first acts of the 115th Congress is to waste time on partisan legislation that will jeopardize their health and safety.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, provides for one hour of general debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Judiciary.

Bill Text for H.R. 21:
PDF Version

Suspensions (6 bills)

  1. H.J.Res. 3 – Approving the location of a memorial to commemorate and honor the members of the Armed Forces that served on active duty in support of Operation Desert Storm or Operation Desert Shield (Rep. Roe – Natural Resources) 
  2. H.R. 71 – Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act (Rep. Walberg – Oversight and Government Reform)
  3. H.R. 73 – Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2017 (Rep. Duncan (TN) – Oversight and Government Reform)
  4. H.R. 70 – Federal Advisory Committee Act Amendments of 2017 (Rep. Clay – Oversight and Government Reform)
  5. H.R. 72 – GAO Access and Oversight Act of 2017 (Rep. Carter (GA) – Oversight and Government Reform)
  6. H.R. 69 – Thoroughly Investigating Retaliation Against Whistleblowers Act (Rep. Blum – Oversight and Government Reform)
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, January 5: The House will convene at 10:00 a.m. for the reading of the Constitution.  All Members are encouraged to participate in the reading of the Constitution.

 The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.  The House is expected to consider H.R. 26 – Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 (Rep. Collins (GA) – Judiciary) (Subject to a Rule).  The House is also expected to consider H.Res. 11 – Objecting to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 as an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace (Rep. Royce – Foreign Affairs) (Subject to a Rule).  
The Daily Quote

“After a wave election gave unchecked power to Republicans in Washington, the House is still chaotic, the House GOP leadership’s power is still somewhat limited and long-term political strategy and thinking still seems to be in short supply. In a dizzying 24 hours, the House Republican Conference gutted the Office of Congressional Ethics in a private vote, and after outcry from everyone from good-government groups to President-elect Donald Trump, the GOP retreated behind the same closed doors to reverse its decision. It’s all led to a massive message muddle on a day when Republicans wanted to celebrate their taking the White House, and keeping control of both chambers of Congress…. [T]he [Republican] leadership seemed caught off guard. They were either unaware of the effort, unable to stop it, unwilling to stop it or underestimated its chances of passing. Or all of the above.”

          -    Politico, 1/3/17