125 Groups Urge Congress to Table the Congressional Review Act

CRA Resolutions Would Harm American Workers, Consumers, Families and Our Environment

Jan. 30, 2017

Contact: Lisa Gilbert, lgilbert@citizen.org, (202) 454-5188
Amit Narang, anarang@citizen.org, (202) 454-5116
Michell McIntyre, mmcintyre@citizen.org, (202) 454-5156
David Rosen, drosen@citizen.org, (202) 588-7742

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, 125 groups sent a letter to Capitol Hill urging Congress to table Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions of disapproval, which would harm American workers, consumers and families. Beginning this week, Republicans in Congress plan to introduce and vote on potentially dozens of CRA resolutions striking down public protections issued by the last administration.

“Voters in this election did not vote for deregulation of Wall Street, more polluted air and water, inaction on climate change, unsafe workplaces, fewer protections against discrimination and unequal pay, more food safety scandals, the gutting of consumer protections and more. In fact, this election was a referendum on the need to hold big interests accountable. Unfortunately, it appears this Congress will reject the electoral message and move exactly the wrong direction by putting corporate special interests first as it liberally uses the CRA,” the letter reads.

Part of Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America, the CRA allows Congress – with limited debate and no possibility of a filibuster – to strike down recently issued rules as long as the president does not veto their actions. CRA resolutions do more than just strike down vital safeguards; they also block agencies from ever again issuing “substantially similar” regulations without express authorization from Congress. As a result, Americans could lose dozens of critical health, safety, pocketbook and environmental protections.

Rules at risk of repeal ensure clean air, clean water and action on climate change; affordable access to broadband and secure communications; paid sick days for federal workers; that big banks are held accountable when they rip off customers; that our workplaces are safe from toxic chemicals; that nondiscrimination and fair pay are guaranteed for all; that for-profit schools are held accountable for fraud; that students are not stuck under mountains of debt; and that commonsense gun control limits for individuals with severe and disabling mental health issues remain in place.

Congress will have 60 legislative working days – until sometime in May or June – to torpedo Obama administration regulations finalized after June 13, 2016. But it is irresponsible for Congress to repeal important public protections that are supported (PDF) by bipartisan majorities of the public, the groups maintain. The groups urge Republicans in Congress to vote their conscience and preserve rules that protect their constituents.

Visit RulesatRisk.org for the latest updates on CRA resolutions.