Dems Find End Run Around Late Bush Regs

Clinton-era law gives Congress power to overturn regulations
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2008 1:58 PM CST
President Bush and President-elect Obama walk along the West Wing Colonnade of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, prior to their meeting in the Oval Office.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – The Bush White House thought it was pretty clever rushing to get all its so-called midnight regulations finalized by Nov. 1 so they couldn't be immediately overturned by the next president, as many of Bill Clinton's parting gifts were. But congressional Democrats say they've found an obscure Clinton-era law that will allow them to strike down the rules anyway.

The Congressional Review Act of 1996 gives Congress the power to review and overturn any regulation finalized within 60 days of congressional adjournment, meaning a simple party-line vote could undo Bush’s policies. Better still for Dems, the move can’t be filibustered. Of course congressional actions are more ponderous than executive ones. One midnight-regulation researcher suggests that, to speed things along, Obama send Congress a bundled bill to strike every regulation he disapproves of.