Administrative Procedure and Rulemaking Resources
Regulations and the Congressional Review Act
CRA used to Repeal Gun Limits for the Severely Mentally Ill
Federal Inspectors General
Link to FedWeb Page on Financial Regs and Dodd-Frank
Administrative Procedure and Rulemaking Resources>
- Link: FederalRegister.gov
- Each day Federal agencies publish documents in the Federal Register, including proposed rules, final rules, public notices, and Presidential actions.
- Subscribe to Notifications on Specific Topics
- Link: Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations (sometimes called administrative law) published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government of the United States.
- Link: Regulations.Gov
- Proposed Rules
- Final Rules
- Public Submissions (e.g., comments, citizen petitions, early submissions)
- Supporting Materials often associated with regulatory actions
- Link: OIRA Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (White House Office of Management and Budget)
- The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 created the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). As an office within OMB, it is part of the Executive Office of the President; its mission is to ensure that agencies’ rules reflect the President’s policies and priorities.
- GAO: Federal Rulemaking – Opportunities Remain for OMB to Improve the Transparency of Rulemaking Processes (2016)
- GAO: Federal Rulemaking – Regulatory Review Processes Could be Enhanced (2014)
- CRS: Federal Rulemaking – The Role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (2009)
- CRS: Changes to the OMB Regulatory Review Process by Executive Order 13422 (2007)
- GAO: OMB’s Role in Reviews of Agencies’ Draft Rules and the Transparency of Those Reviews (2003)
- OIRA in the Obama Administration (Archived)
- GW Regulatory Studies Center Portal
- Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. Subchapter II)
- U.S. Rulemaking Process
- Yale Journal on Regulation
- ABA: A Guide to Federal Agency Rulemaking
- CRS: The Federal Rulemaking Process: An Overview June 2013
Regulations and the Congressional Review Act
- The Congressional Review Act (CRA), enacted in 1996, empowers Congress to disapprove new federal regulations by means of a filibuster-proof joint resolution. Congress has 60 session days to act on a disapproval resolution and the resolution requires presidential signature.
- Under the CRA, before a rule can take effect, an agency must submit a report to each house of Congress and the Comptroller General at the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report must contain a copy of the rule; a statement on whether it is a major rule; and the proposed effective date of the rule.
- If a joint resolution of disapproval is enacted, the CRA provides that a rule may not be issued in “substantially the same form” as the disapproved rule unless it is specifically authorized by a subsequent law. The CRA does not define what would constitute a rule that is “substantially the same.” In addition, the CRA prohibits judicial review of any “determination, finding, action, or omission under this chapter.”
In 2017, the CRA was used to repeal 15 regulations and block similar regs in the future:
- February 14, 2017: Repealed the oil anti-corruption rule.
- February 16, 2017: Repealed the stream protection rule to protect communities from the consequences of toxic water pollution from industrial coal mining operations.
- February 28, 2017: Repealed the Gun Limits for the Severely Mentally Ill – The repealed rule would have implemented a plan to provide to the National Instant Criminal History Background Check System (NICS) the name of an individual for whom benefit payments are made through a representative payee because the individual is determined to be mentally incapable of managing them.
- March 27, 2017: Repealed a regulation requiring federal contractors to comply with safe workplace laws before receiving new government contracts.
- March 27, 2017: Repealed Every Student Succeeds Accountability (ESSA) regulations.
- March 27, 2017: Repealed standards aimed at ensuring that recipients of TEACH grants attend high quality teacher education programs.
- March 27, 2017: Repealed rule on use and conservation planning for natural and cultural resources on public lands.
- March 31, 2017: Repealed a rule defining occupations eligible for drug testing as a precondition for receiving unemployment compensation.
- April 3, 2017: Repealed a rule clarifying that employers have a continuing obligation to maintain accurate records of serious workplace injuries and illnesses for up to five years.
- April 3, 2017: Repealed a rule to protect bears and wolves on federal lands.
- April 3, 2017: Repealed a rule aimed at protecting the privacy of customers of broadband and other telecommunications services by applying the customer privacy requirements of the Communications Act of 1934 to broadband Internet access service and other telecommunications services.
- April 13, 2017: Repealed a rule aimed at protecting the right of 4 million low-income women to continue accessing health care at Planned Parenthood.
- April 13, 2017: Repealed a rule aimed at promoting savings arrangements established by counties and cities for non-governmental employees.
- May 17, 2017: Repealed rule aimed at promoting savings arrangements established by States for non-governmental employees.
- Nov. 1, 2017: Repealed a rule restoring the right of consumers to challenge bank and lender “fine print” aimed at preventing consumers from challenging fraud or hidden fees in court.
- Link to Congressional Review Tracker
- Link to CRA Resolution Tracker
- CRS: Background on Congressional Review Act Nov 2016
“Executive orders and proclamations are directives or actions by the President. When they are founded on the authority of the President derived from the Constitution or statute, they may have the force and effect of law…. In the narrower sense Executive orders and proclamations are written documents denominated as such…. Executive orders are generally directed to, and govern actions by, Government officials and agencies. They usually affect private individuals only indirectly. Proclamations in most instances affect primarily the activities of private individuals. Since the President has no power or authority over individual citizens and their rights except where he is granted such power and authority by a provision in the Constitution or by statute, the President’s proclamations are not legally binding and are at best hortatory unless based on such grants of authority.”
- Source: CRS Report: Executive Order – Issuance Modification and Revocation April 2014
- Trump Executive Orders
- Access all Executive Orders back to 1994, organized by Administration.
- National Archives Disposition Table back to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration.
- See an academic compilation of Executive Orders at the American Presidency Project.
Federal Inspectors General
- The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, established the Federal Inspectors General (IG) as independent and objective units within most agencies whose duties are to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the programs and operations of their respective agencies.
- Each office of inspector general (OIG) is responsible for conducting audits and investigations relating to the programs and operations of its agency.
- OIGs coordinate and recommend policies to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness, and prevent and detect fraud and abuse, in agency programs and operations.
- Established as permanent, nonpartisan, independent offices, they now exist in more than 70 establishments and entities, including all departments and largest agencies, along with numerous boards and commissions.
- Under the Inspector General Act of 1978 and its amendments of 1988, inspectors general are granted substantial independence and powers to carry out their mandate.
- CRS: Inspector General Community Launches Oversight August 2017
- CRS: Federal Inspectors General – History, Characteristics, and Recent Congressional Action June 2016
- CRS: Offices of Inspectors General and Law Enforcement Authority – In Brief Sept 2014
- CRS Statutory Offices of Inspector General Sept 2008
- Link: Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency
- The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) is an independent entity established within the executive branch to address integrity, economy and effectiveness issues that transcend individual Government agencies and aid in the establishment of a professional, well-trained and highly skilled workforce in the Offices of Inspectors General.