This past March, Sen. Toomey (R-Pa.) asked the Government Accountability Office whether certain rules issued informally – i.e., not as regulations subject to the Administrative Procedure Act – in 2013 were nonetheless subject to the Congressional Review Act.
Federal agencies, including independent ones, issuing rules subject to the CRA must submit them to Congress, which can, if it does so within sixty days of that submission, overrule them. Congress’s 60-day period within which to act begins on the date the rule is submitted. Thus, as the Pacific Legal Foundation and Heritage Foundation pointed out earlier this year, the 60-day period for many rules is still open because it has yet to begin because the rules were not submitted to Congress for review.
After studying the matter for some time, GAO recently responded to Toomey’s inquiry: yes, those informal rules he inquired about are subject to the CRA. And, since they have yet to be submitted for Congressional review, Congress’s 60-day period within which to act on them has yet to begin.
For a comprehensive explanation, visit Susan Dudley’s opinion piece published yesterday in Forbes.