The Trump Administration and the Congressional Review Act

16 Pages Posted: 14 May 2018 Last revised: 23 Sep 2018

Date Written: May 3, 2018


The Congressional Review Act (CRA) gives a new Administration and a new Congress with a majority of members from the President’s party the opportunity to invalidate “midnight rules” promulgated by an outgoing Administration and to reject rules that an agency never submitted to Congress. Taking advantage of that opportunity requires some internal analysis by the new Administration of the rules subject to the CRA and coordination with Congress. The President must identify the particular rules that he wishes to see held invalid; the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader must ensure that there are sufficient votes to invalidate the rules to which the President objects; and both branches must ensure that the CRA process is conducted in an orderly and expeditious manner. In the first half of 2017, the Trump Administration and Congress vigorously used the CRA to eliminate unlawful or unwise agency rules. Until recently, however, the CRA review process has gone quiet. The interesting question is why. There are additional opportunities for use of the CRA. Whether President Trump and Congress will make use of those opportunities is likely more a matter of politics than law.

Keywords: The Congressional Review Act, The Trump Administration, Regulatory Reform, Administrative State

Suggested Citation

Larkin, Jr., Paul James, The Trump Administration and the Congressional Review Act (May 3, 2018). Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2018. Available at SSRN:

Paul James Larkin, Jr. (Contact Author)

The Heritage Foundation ( email )

214 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002-4999
United States
202-608-6190 (Phone)

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