Regulation

Did the Assault on the Capitol Derail Last-Minute Trump Regulations?

Rioters who ransacked a Senate office may have prevented a few Trump policies from taking effect.

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Kelsey Brugger of E&E News reports that three Trump Administration regulatory actions may have been derailed by the January 6 assault on the Capitol building. According to Brugger's story, rioters ransacked the Senate offices, causing an extra-long delay before the hard-copy submissions of three rules could be submitted. Under the Congressional Review Act, major rules must be submitted to the Senate before they may take effect. In this case, the resulting delays appear to have prevented the rules from taking effect prior to January 20, meaning the rules would have been suspended by the Biden Administration before they became operative.

From Brugger's story:

To finalize a rule, agencies must send the regulation to both the Office of the Federal Register and to Congress. Whichever happens later prompts the rule to be deemed "received."

On Jan. 6, EPA sent three regulations to the Senate parliamentarian. One was the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions rule for airplanes, which environmentalists dismissed as useless.

Another included unchanged National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone, an air pollutant experts say is among the most dangerous in the United States today. EPA also sent an action affecting the Denver area.

After receiving the rules, the parliamentarian had to route them to send them to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — a process that can take several days.

But on Jan. 6, the mob ransacked the office. File cabinets were toppled over, and documents were strewn across the floor. And as a result, sources in and outside Capitol Hill say, the rules may have taken longer to make it to committee.

Records show that the EPA rules finally made it to EPW on Jan. 22. That's after President Biden took office. The White House's new chief of staff, Ron Klain, had by then issued a memo to freeze all Trump rules that had not gone into effect.

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  1. When was the last Trump regulatory change that was actually approved? My impression is that, once it was clear the Supreme court wasn’t going to take his election challenges, the rest of the government pretty much stopped paying any attention to him.

    1. But it might make an effective challenge to the Bite me Harass lynch mob.

      Is it Trump’s fault that the respective Sergent’s of Arms couldn’t properly police their own bodies? And before dismissing that, one might want to think about the principle that the executive neither has authority over Capitol Hill nor is responsible for what happens there.

      The Congress made the parliamentarian it’s agent — and hence delivery to said parliamentarian constitutes proper (and timely) delivery to Congress. Like I said, Capitol Hill was a separate planet over which Trump had no authority — and hence no responsibly for breakdown of authority….

      1. What makes you think anybody would care about such an argument? The bureaucracy barely pretended to care what he ordered while he was still President.

        1. True, but there’s gotta be a MAGA Federal judge *somewhere*…

          If a judge in Hawaii has jurisdiction over Boston’s Logan airport, which is something like 7000 miles away, then why can’t we find our own friendly Federal judge?

        2. Two points :

          Brett Bellmore : “The bureaucracy barely pretended to care..,. (etc)”

          More hysterical nonsense from Brett.

          Dr. Ed 2 : “..there’s gotta be a MAGA Federal judge *somewhere*…”

          Remember all those comically inept junk lawsuits after the election? They confused a lot of people because they seemed so useless. Were they just for the noise, to help scam the dupes contributing their last dimes & pennies to Trump’s Election Defense Fund? Partially, but they were also a by-product of DJT’s mafioso-mentality: Somewhere there had to be a state GOP official or judge who would owe Trump a favor and rule for him regardless of the facts.

          Thank God that didn’t happen.

    2. Well, of course. He was down, but for the insurrection.

    3. ‘Anarchist jurisdictions’
      ‘No money for trainings that cite critical race theory’

      Those two went through fine, and were enforced until Biden came in.

  2. Executive regulations are void, lawyer dumasses. Read Article I Section 1. Let Congress enact the 10000 pages of the Federal Register, and be held accountable for their horrors at the next election. Nor may Congress delegate any of this power.

    Any language with a readability score above the 6th grade fails to give notice. It is lawyer rent seeking fraud. That should void the regulation on Fifth Amendment grounds.

    Because the sole tool of the lawyer traitor is punishment, all rules are procedures on the body. They must be proven safe and effective in pilot test trials in small jurisdictions. No more lawyer dumbass quackery should be allowed.

    All remedies have a dose response curve. Too little does not work. Too much is toxic. These curves need to be worked out and published ahead of enactment for public review.

    An amendment should allow a public referendum to enact or to repeal any rule.

    Judicial review is insurrection against the constitution. Any federal judge who does it gets 10 years at hard labor. Let her break rocks in a mine. If you scumbag lawyers want judicial review, enact an Amendment.

  3. Executive regulations are void, lawyers. Read Article I Section 1. Let Congress enact the 10000 pages of the Federal Register, and be held accountable for their horrors at the next election. Nor may Congress delegate any of this power.

    Any language with a readability score above the 6th grade fails to give notice. It is lawyer rent seeking fraud. That should void the regulation on Fifth Amendment grounds.

    Because the sole tool of the lawyer is punishment, all rules are procedures on the body. They must be proven safe and effective in pilot test trials in small jurisdictions. No more lawyer quackery should be allowed.

    All remedies have a dose response curve. Too little does not work. Too much is toxic. These curves need to be worked out and published ahead of enactment for public review.

    An amendment should allow a public referendum to enact or to repeal any rule.

    Judicial review is insurrection against the constitution. Any federal judge who does it gets 10 years at hard labor. Let her break rocks in a mine. If you lawyers want judicial review, enact an Amendment.

  4. This story makes no sense. It says that the regulations need to be sent to Congress. And it says in the very next sentence that the regulations WERE sent to Congress. Done!

    (“To finalize a rule, agencies must send the regulation to both the Office of the Federal Register and to Congress. Whichever happens later prompts the rule to be deemed “received.” On Jan. 6, EPA sent three regulations to the Senate parliamentarian.”)

    I don’t see how a delay by the parliamentarian in sending a rule to a Committee can make any difference. The executive branch fulfilled its duty by sending the rule to Congress.

    Indeed, the Congressional Review Act expressly provides that sending the rules to the Committee only occurs AFTER the rules have been received by Congress. See 5 USC 801(a)(1)(C) (“Upon receipt of [the rule], each House shall provide copies of the report to the chairman and ranking member of each standing committee with jurisdiction”).

    1. I’ll add that, under Ron Klain’s memo withdrawing certain rules, whether a rule has been sent to (and received by) Congress under the CRA, IS COMPLETLY IRRELEVANT. His memo withdraws rules that haven’t been published in the Federal Register. And if a rule has been published in the federal register but isn’t yet effective, it doesn’t withdraw it (instead it asks the agency to postpone the effective date for 60 days and request additional comments).

      So, if these three rules were already published in the federal register by January 20, then the Klain memo doesn’t withdraw them, regardless of what the Senate parliamentarian did. And if they weren’t published in the federal register by January 20, they were withdrawn – again, regardless of what the parliamentarian did.

      As far as I can tell, there is basically nothing in this story that is correct. It’s a completely wrong understanding of both the CRA and the Ron Klain memo.

  5. If any Trump rules didn’t go through, good riddance.

  6. “After receiving the rules, the parliamentarian had to route them to send them to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — a process that can take several days.”

    SEVERAL DAYS?!?!

    We really need to reform govt.

    I’m often dismayed at the technology govt agencies use (like the VA, state DMVs, govt contracting offices, etc.).

    They’re still using stuff from the 90s.

    1. Knowing bureaucracy, I’d guess the parliamentarian needs to review for typos and whatnot to justify their place in the system, otherwise why not cut them out as the middle-man?

      As a bureaucrat, I believe such systems are better than the alternatives (also a pretty boss tech in Civ IV), but I don’t know how to get rid of this perverse incentive.

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