Biden Signs Three Resolutions Undoing ‘Midnight’ Trump Regulations

President Biden speaks before signing several bills during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex on Wednesday.

President Biden speaks before signing several bills during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex on Wednesday. Susan Walsh / AP

The regulations are from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Treasury Department and Environmental Protection Agency. 

President Biden signed on Wednesday evening three resolutions to undo three last-minute or “midnight” regulations from the Trump administration. 

Under the 1996 Congressional Review Act, lawmakers can introduce resolutions to undo regulations imposed by the previous, outgoing administration during a certain look-back period. There was much talk about using the act after Democrats took control of the Senate following the runoff elections in Georgia in January. 

“I'm about to sign into law three bills which you all have written and passed protecting our planet from climate-disturbing greenhouse gas, particularly methane, which is devastating; protecting consumers from predatory lenders; and protecting workers from employment discrimination,” said Biden at a signing ceremony before members of Congress. “Each of these bills—each of these bills reflects a return to common sense and commitment to the common good, and I want to thank every one of you for your leadership in getting this done.”

Democratic lawmakers sought to undo three more Trump-era regulations––at the Securities and Exchange Commission (on procedural requirements for shareholders); Health and Human Services Department (on sun-setting regulations); and Social Security Administration (on appeals judges). However, only the HHS and SSA resolutions have been introduced in the House and neither chamber has taken up the SEC resolution. 

The deadline to introduce resolutions under the Congressional Review Act was early April and the deadline for the Senate to use special fast-track authority, meaning the resolutions were filibuster proof, was in late May

There were many other regulations in the lookback period that lawmakers could have targeted, as shown by a chart from the Regulatory Studies Center at The George Washington University. 

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