Ins & Outs Dept.: Midnight F***-You Regulations Can Be Reversed
Ha-ha, good news! Those privatizin' White Hosers messed up. Again. Which isn't news, but this time their incompetence works out in our favor, so they can't put cyanide in our chewing gum and so forth:
Congressional Democrats are eyeing a little-known, Clinton-era law as a way to reverse Bush administration midnight regulations — even ones that have already taken effect.Now we'll see if the Spineless Ones can be motivated to follow through on their legal advantage over the Bastard Party. Visions of cattle prods do dance in the head. Read the rest here.
It’s a move that would undermine the White House’s attempt to finalize its energy and environmental regulations by November so that Barack Obama couldn’t undo them after he’s sworn in as the 44th president on Jan. 20.
“Fortunately, [the White House] made a mistake,” said a top Senate Democratic aide.
Last May, White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten instructed federal agency heads to make sure any new regulations were finalized by Nov. 1. The memo didn’t spell it out, but the thinking behind the directive was obvious. As Myron Ebell of the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute put it: “We’re not going to make the same mistakes the Clinton administration did.”
The law [Ed.: the Congressional Review Act of 1996] contains a clause determining that any regulation finalized within 60 days of congressional adjournment — Oct. 3, in this case — is considered to have been legally finalized on Jan. 15, 2009. The new Congress then has 60 days to review it and reverse it with a joint resolution that can’t be filibustered in the Senate. In other words, any regulation finalized in the last half-year of the Bush administration could be wiped out with a simple party-line vote in the Democrat-controlled Congress.