It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…Obama has left than 35 days in office. Hillary Clinton lost the election, and Harry Reid is leaving office. President-elect Donald Trump is going to “Make America Great Again”! Hip! Hip! Hoorah! Right? What more do you want?
Of course, Trump will be busy cleaning up Obama’s disaster – working hard to repeal Obamacare, enforcing our immigration laws and rounding up illegals, and getting rid of every illegal and unconstitutional action of Obama’s. We’ll probably still uncover more “goodies” or scandals about Clinton in the near future. And finally, it may be that Harry Reid’s greatest achievement may come back to “bite” the Democrats in the behind.
H/T Washington Examiner:
One of outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s greatest legislative achievements will come back to haunt Democrats early next year.
President-elect Trump has promised to repeal two federal regulations for every new one issued, and the Congressional Review Act, which Reid co-sponsored in 1996, will give him a running start.
The law gives Congress the power to rescind any unwelcome late, so-called “midnight” regulations from an outgoing president through a simple majority vote in both chambers of Congress.
Since its passage as part of House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America in 1996, it has only been successfully used once, but Republicans are promising to leverage its full power in January to kill rules the Obama administration has issued in its last months in office.
In his 77-minute farewell address on the Senate floor last week, Reid included the Congressional Review Act as one of his top accomplishments in the Senate, along with passage of Obamacare, the 2009 stimulus bill, a taxpayer bill of rights and several other measures.
Reid openly acknowledged that his work on the seldom-used law has perplexed Democrats because Republicans are known for targeting what they consider overly burdensome environmental and labor regulations and Democrats generally want to increase the government protections.
Most Democrats understood the reasons behind Reid’s decision in 2013 to go “nuclear” and change Senate rules to end the minority party’s ability to filibuster presidential nominations for all but the Supreme Court. Democrats were tired of Republicans blocking Obama’s appointments to the lower courts and were willing to risk the turn-about that comes now that they have no power to block most of Trump’s nominations.
But Reid’s role in handing Republicans’ a cudgel to kill outgoing Democratic president’s rules has had his Democratic colleagues scratching their heads for years, Reid admits.
Reid also failed to mention is that Democrats have never used the law at all. The only opportunity they had was in early 2009 when Democrats controlled both the House and Senate during the early days of President Obama‘s tenure.
The way the law works ensures its use only in the rare circumstance that one party controls both houses of Congress and has just won the White House from the other party.
It then allows lawmakers who oppose regulations to write separate resolutions to overturn each one. These resolutions operate under easier rules than normal bills. They need only a simple majority to pass both the House and Senate and so cannot be filibustered, which requires 60 Senate votes to overcome.
Here’s what Sen. Tom Cotton had to say recently about Sen. Harry Reid:
With all of Obama’s government intrusion and regulations, it looks like President-elect Trump will be VERY busy with the Congressional Review Act. Republicans have Sen. Harry Reid to thank for it!…yet another Christmas bonus!
Thanks Sen. Reid. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!
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