MIDNIGHT RULES RELIEF ACT OF 2017; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 2
(House of Representatives - January 04, 2017)

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[Pages H74-H86]
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                   MIDNIGHT RULES RELIEF ACT OF 2017


                             General Leave

  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include 
extraneous materials on H.R. 21.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Virginia?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to section 5(b) of House 
Resolution 5, I call up the bill (H.R. 21) to amend chapter 8 of title 
5, United States Code, to provide for en bloc consideration in 
resolutions of disapproval for ``midnight rules'', and for other 
purposes, and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to section 5(b) of House Resolution 
5, the bill is considered read.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                H.R. 21

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Midnight Rules Relief Act of 
     2017''.

     SEC. 2. EN BLOC CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTIONS OF DISAPPROVAL 
                   PERTAINING TO ``MIDNIGHT RULES''.

       (a) In General.--Section 801(d) of title 5, United States 
     Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
       ``(4) In applying section 802 to rules described under 
     paragraph (1), a joint resolution of disapproval may contain 
     one or more such rules if the report under subsection 
     (a)(1)(A) for each such rule was submitted during the final 
     year of a President's term.''.
       (b) Text of Resolving Clause.--Section 802(a) of title 5, 
     United States Code, is amended--
       (1) by inserting after ``resolving clause of which is'' the 
     following: ``(except as otherwise provided in this 
     subsection)''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following: ``In the case of a 
     joint resolution under section 801(d)(4), the matter after 
     the resolving clause of such resolution shall be as follows: 
     `That Congress disapproves the following rules: the rule 
     submitted by the __ relating to __; and the rule submitted by 
     the __ relating to __. Such rules shall have no force or 
     effect.' (The blank spaces being appropriately filled in and 
     additional clauses describing additional rules to be included 
     as necessary)''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte) 
and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers) each will control 30 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, Federal bureaucrats are continuously creating new and 
more complicated and costly burdens on hardworking Americans in the 
form of unnecessarily burdensome regulations. Clearly, some regulation 
is necessary to protect public safety, set general rules of the road, 
and accomplish other important goals.
  However, despite the fact that these goals can often be accomplished 
with relatively simple guidance, Washington bureaucrats seem more 
determined than ever to create the most complicated puzzles they can 
imagine, regardless of the compliance costs for small businesses or the 
new and innovative products entrepreneurs are forced to shelve in order 
to comply with these overly complicated regulations.
  Bureaucrats also don't seem to care that American families face 
higher prices for goods and have fewer job opportunities when employers 
are unnecessarily forced to factor wasteful costs of complying with 
overly burdensome regulations into their bottom lines.
  That is why, at the very beginning of the 115th Congress, we are 
prioritizing legislation to remove unnecessary regulatory burdens. 
Doing so is one of the fundamental steps we can take to make America 
more competitive again

[[Page H75]]

and put more Americans back to work again.
  Today, our specific focus is on reforming regulations that are 
hastily cobbled together in the waning weeks and months of an outgoing 
administration. These regulations are particularly susceptible to abuse 
and, thus, have an even greater potential to undermine job 
opportunities, wages, and American competitiveness.
  As the Obama administration rushes to a close, Americans' freedom and 
prosperity are increasingly threatened by one of the most abusive 
features of modern bureaucracy--midnight regulation.
  Midnight regulation is one of the most vexing problems in 
Washington's overreaching regulatory system. Administration after 
administration, there is a spike in rulemaking activity during the last 
year of a President's term--particularly between election day and 
Inauguration Day, but even in the months before then.
  These successive waves of midnight regulation present deeply 
troubling issues. First and foremost, because outgoing administrations 
are no longer accountable to the voters, they are much more prone to 
issue midnight regulations that fly in the face of the electoral 
mandate the voters just gave the new, incoming administration.
  Waves of midnight rules can also be very hard for Congress or a new 
administration to check adequately. As a new Congress and President 
begin their terms, both understandably must be focused on implementing 
the new priorities within the mandates the voters have given them. That 
doesn't always leave time to focus on cleaning up all of the last acts 
of the departing administration.
  In addition, the Congressional Review Act currently allows Congress 
to disapprove of regulations--including midnight regulations--only one 
at a time. A wave of midnight regulations can easily overwhelm 
Congress' ability to use one-rule-at-a-time resolutions as an effective 
check.
  Finally, it is well-documented that the rush by outgoing 
administrations to impose midnight rules before the clock strikes 12 
leads to more poorly analyzed rules with lower quality and lower 
benefits.
  The Obama administration has imposed more runaway regulation than any 
other in memory, and its midnight rulemaking period is no exception. 
When the House considered this legislation in the wake of last 
November's election, the administration had issued or planned to issue 
at least 180 midnight rules within the scope of this bill, including 
multiple billion-dollar rules and more than 20 major rules imposing 
$100 million or more in costs per year.
  In the intervening weeks, these figures have rapidly ballooned to the 
226 midnight rules issued or planned. During just the week of December 
12, the administration issued 18 midnight regulations, imposing over $2 
billion in new costs. But this is not a partisan issue. Administrations 
of both parties have issued midnight rules in the past.
  The Judiciary Committee has been searching for an effective solution 
to this problem for some time, and I applaud our colleague, Mr. Issa, 
for offering the Midnight Rules Relief Act to respond to the need. This 
bill offers a simple and powerful means to stop the problem of abusive 
midnight rules--allowing Congress to disapprove of any and all midnight 
regulations in one fell swoop by one en bloc disapproval resolution 
under the Congressional Review Act.
  Any outgoing administration understanding that it has this Sword of 
Damocles hanging over its head will surely hesitate much more before 
abusing midnight rules. Further, once enabled to dispatch of all 
improper midnight rules with one simple resolution, Congress and 
succeeding administrations would be free to focus more of their 
energies on the voters' new priorities, rather than the mess left by 
midnight rules.
  The relief offered by the bill, moreover, is highly flexible. No set 
number of regulations would have to be covered by a resolution. No 
category of regulation would have to be included in or excluded from a 
resolution. On the contrary, any midnight rule disapproval resolution 
could be sweeping or narrow, depending on how many rules merited 
inclusion.
  Finally, the Midnight Rules Relief Act offers a solution that is not 
intrusive upon legitimate executive branch authority. An outgoing 
administration remains free to conduct necessary rulemaking activity up 
to the stroke of midnight on Inauguration Day. It then falls to 
Congress to respond swiftly and surgically to the results, to accept 
the good and excise the bad.
  This is truly a better way to govern. That is why the reform embodied 
in this bill is featured in Speaker Ryan's Better Way agenda.
  I thank Mr. Issa for his work on this important legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support the bill, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, this is an unusual measure that is being brought forward 
under unusual circumstances. To begin with, this measure would, believe 
it or not, empower our Federal legislature to undo virtually every 
regulation submitted to the Congress since mid-June of last year 
through the end of 2016 last year. The bill accomplishes this--every 
regulation--by authorizing Congress to disapprove these rules through a 
single joint resolution, thereby depriving Members to consider the 
merits of each individual regulation. This presents a number of 
problems.

                              {time}  1345

  As the administration has stated, with a threat of veto of an 
identical bill that was considered last November, the legislation 
``would create tremendous regulatory uncertainty, potentially impose 
additional costs on businesses, and represent a step backwards for 
applying sound regulatory principles to protect public health, safety, 
the environment, and other critical aspects of society.''
  This, in my view, is a cynical way of trying to legislate. For those 
concerned about the continued improvement of clean air and clean water, 
if we care about the safety of the toys we give our children, if we 
care about the environment, then we must oppose this bill.
  I urge my colleagues to join me. There hasn't been any deliberative 
process on the bill recently. It is amazing to me that we have such 
opposition to the bill. It would be overwhelming to put in the over 150 
labor organizations, consumer organizations, environmental 
organizations, and others who have openly asked us to oppose this bill.
  If that isn't enough, we have the business community itself in 
opposition. The American Sustainable Business Council, which represents 
over 200,000 businesses--and I have a partial list of them--also 
opposes this measure. It is one of the rare instances in which I have 
brought to the floor legislation that is opposed by both labor and by 
business as well.
  It is a little bit of an insult that this bill is being considered, 
on top of that, under a closed rule. There can be no amendments to this 
measure.
  I am in a state of surprise that on the second day of a new Congress 
we would come forward with a measure that could potentially jeopardize 
public health and safety in so many different ways.
  I think that the opposition to this measure is so overwhelming that I 
am surprised that without hearings, without an opportunity for 
amendment, we are now considering a measure that has this much 
opposition.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a letter from Consumer Reports 
dated January 3, 2017.

                                             Consumer Reports,

                                  Washington, DC, January 3, 2017.
     U.S. House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: Consumer Reports and its policy and 
     mobilization arm, Consumers Union, strongly urge you to vote 
     no on H.R. 21, the so-called ``Midnight Rules Relief Act.'' 
     This bill would severely undermine accountability to the 
     public regarding important protections and safeguards.
       Although the rules targeted by this legislation were 
     finalized relatively recently, many have been under 
     development for several years. Consumers Union has provided 
     public comment on several of these regulations that were 
     designed to protect consumers against unsafe products, 
     dishonest business dealings, and other hazards in the 
     marketplace that place their health, safety, or well-being at 
     risk. Agency experts carefully examined these hazards and 
     considered various alternative approaches to address them. 
     They sought input and guidance from businesses, consumer 
     organizations, outside scientific and legal experts, and the 
     public at

[[Page H76]]

     large, and ultimately developed final rules, explaining 
     publicly the basis and rationale for the adopted approach.
       The federal law known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA) 
     already permits a regulation carefully developed over many 
     years to be erased by Congress, in a rushed process that does 
     not reflect the same level of expertise or careful 
     consideration. Congress could even rescind a rule for reasons 
     that might be based not on any broader interests of the 
     public, but on the narrower, private special interests of 
     those seeking to avoid having appropriate obligations imposed 
     on their profit-making activities.
       The potential for the CRA to be employed in the service of 
     special interests is at least somewhat held in check by the 
     fact that the law currently requires separate congressional 
     action for erasing each regulation. A regulation considered 
     for erasure under the CRA must be brought to the House and 
     Senate in its own separate resolution, given its own debate 
     and vote, and sent to the President for its own signature or 
     veto. All officials involved in considering whether to erase 
     the regulation and its protections are thus put on record, 
     and can be held accountable for their positions and the 
     consequences. Perhaps for this reason, there has only been 
     one regulation rescinded under the CRA in its 20-year 
     history.
       This important accountability check would be removed under 
     the ``Midnight Rules Relief Act.'' By allowing erasure of 
     multiple regulations en bloc, this bill would enable Members 
     of Congress and the President to evade public accountability 
     for what Gould be ill-considered, politically motivated 
     decisions that result in devastating consequences. Under the 
     bill, no Member would ever have to be on record regarding any 
     specific regulation being erased. In fact, any Member who 
     actually wants to cast a more selective vote, to erase 
     certain regulations but not others, would be unable to do so.
       We are somewhat encouraged that the House Majority, after 
     initially acting behind closed doors to weaken the Office of 
     Congressional Ethics, has reversed course in light of major 
     concerns raised about the impact on congressional 
     accountability. We urge all Members to also recognize the 
     damaging effects that this bill would have on accountability 
     and on the ability of the American public to trust their 
     elected representatives. We strongly urge you to vote no on 
     the ``Midnight Rules Relief Act.''
           Sincerely,
     Laura MacCleery,
       Vice President, Consumer Policy and Mobilization Consumer 
     Reports.
     George P. Slover,
       Senior Policy Counsel, Consumers Union.
     William C. Wallace,
       Policy Analyst, Consumers Union.

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Marino).
  Mr. MARINO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the 
Midnight Rules Relief Act.
  Recently, impossible opportunities exist for this body to reassert 
its authority and work on behalf of the American people. The Midnight 
Rules Relief Act would provide Congress with an important tool to begin 
the process of dismantling the onerous regulatory burdens imposed over 
the past 8 years.
  As the chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial 
and Antitrust Law, I have dedicated considerable time over the past 2 
years to closely monitoring the growth of the administrative state. The 
estimated regulatory costs across all years of the Obama administration 
are staggering. However, the regulatory onslaught in its final year 
alone--disastrous--shows the damage already done and the greater impact 
that will fall on our economy.
  In 2016, 401 regulations were finalized. The total compliance cost 
for this period exceeds $164 billion and amounts to nearly 121 million 
paperwork hours. That is 401 regulations and $164 billion. This is only 
during the final year of the Obama administration. It is no wonder that 
the American people sought a new, more promising direction for our 
country.
  Finally, the Congress has an opportunity to act to protect the 
American people and repeal many of these crushing regulations. For us 
in Congress, we cannot forget what these numbers represent. For my 
constituents and for Americans across the country, the billions in 
dollars of costs imposed on the economy represent jobs lost, routine 
bills that cannot be paid, and the American Dream slipping from their 
grasp.
  The true story of this regulatory onslaught is told by workers at 
shuttered stores, factories, and power plants across the country. Their 
concerns and fears are ours. As this current administration exits, we 
must remain vigilant to last-ditch efforts at crippling our economy.
  On top of those in recent months, a number of new regulations may 
still be finalized in a hurried, nontransparent fashion. The American 
people are concerned that our current regulatory process ignores the 
balancing of costs and benefits and the regulatory impact on their 
lives. From what we have seen over the past 8 years, it is clear that 
they should be.
  Starting this week, Congress has an opportunity to reassert its 
constitutional authority and act for all Americans. The Midnight Rules 
Relief Act is a well-advised measure that gives Congress the ability to 
quickly examine and eliminate the mass of regulations promulgated in 
recent months. This has been done by both Republican and Democrat 
administrations.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all my colleagues to support this bill.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Nadler), a senior colleague, to speak on the measure before 
us.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 21, the Midnight Rules 
Relief Act.
  This irresponsible legislation would enable Congress to wipe out 
hundreds, or even thousands, of regulations enacted during the final 
year of the President's term in office, in one fell swoop, with little 
examination, no deliberation, and little regard to their impact on 
public health or safety.
  Members from both sides of the aisle have expressed concern in recent 
years over rules adopted during a Presidential transition period--
typically, the last 60 to 90 days of the President's term. But this 
legislation differs greatly from previous legislation that I and others 
have introduced in the past to deal with this problem.
  For example, the Midnight Rule Act, which I introduced in the 110th 
and 111th Congresses, would have merely delayed the implementation of 
rules submitted to Congress within the final 90 days of a President's 
term, with appropriate exceptions for imminent threat to health and 
safety, enforcement of criminal laws, implementation of an 
international trade agreement, and national security.
  This proposal was a response to concerns with last-minute rulemaking 
under the George W. Bush administration, which was roundly criticized 
at the time for allowing insufficient time for public comment, ignoring 
public comments, and otherwise departing from accepted rulemaking 
practices.
  My bill would have given an incoming President 90 days to determine 
if any rules issued should not go forward. This measure would have 
allowed legitimate regulatory reform to proceed on schedule while 
putting the power to review and overturn controversial new rules into 
the hands of the newly elected administration.
  The legislation before us today, however, goes much further and 
creates a process to simply erase the last months of an outgoing 
administration's regulatory agenda.
  Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can overturn a 
regulation issued by the executive branch through a disapproval 
resolution that must be signed by the President. This bill would allow 
Congress to package these disapproval resolutions together and 
eliminate dozens, hundreds, or even thousands, of regulations all at 
once, with little debate over the merits of any individual rule.
  Under the CRA, agencies would be prevented from proposing similar 
rules ever again, absent explicit congressional authorization. You 
would have a rule terminated with no debate because it is one of a 
thousand rules done away with in one resolution. You can't even look at 
it again.
  The Republican majority has waged an all-out assault on the 
regulatory process, trying to add hurdle after hurdle on the ability to 
issue regulations that protect public health and safety. Not content to 
grind the gears of rulemaking to a halt, they now want to 
eliminate wholesale those regulations that have gone through the 
exhaustive rulemaking process--a process that often takes many years to 
complete.

  Even more concerning, this bill would apply to rules issued in the 
last 60 legislative days of a President's

[[Page H77]]

term. Not calendar days, but legislative days.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hultgren). The time of the gentleman has 
expired.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman an additional 1 
minute.
  Mr. NADLER. Given how little we worked last year, this would mean 
that any regulation issued by the Obama administration, stretching back 
to June 13, 2016, could be canceled in one sweeping motion, with hardly 
any consideration given to the merits of any individual regulation.
  Article II of the Constitution provides that a President shall serve 
a 4-year term. But the Republicans seem to believe that this doesn't 
apply to President Obama. Somehow, when he was reelected by broad 
majority in 2012, he was given only a 3-year term. The Senate refused 
to consider a Supreme Court nominee and, under this bill, his entire 
regulatory agenda for the last 6 months could be undone in an instant.
  While I am sympathetic to the need for an incoming administration to 
review regulations issued in the closing days of an outgoing 
administration, this bill goes much further and allows for a rushed and 
partisan process that could undermine critical health and safety 
regulations.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this irresponsible and 
dangerous legislation.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, floor debate is both for the people in the room and the 
people watching.
  Many of the new Members have not yet voted on a substantive piece of 
legislation. So, Mr. Speaker, I reach out with a little piece of 
history--a large piece of history, perhaps--for the freshmen of both 
parties.
  First of all, this legislation is bipartisan. It is sponsored by both 
Republicans and Democrats.
  Second of all, when Mr. Conyers, Mr. Nadler, and I were 16 years 
younger, in March of 2001, it was the last and only time that the 
underlying law allowed for a regulation to be repealed. It was 
prominently called ergonomics. It was repealed. I had the honor of 
voting for that as a freshman.
  Since that time, in spite of the many regulations that some people 
don't like in one party or another, we have not seen fit to have a 
joint resolution repeal a regulation.
  So let's talk about what it takes to do that. It takes both Houses of 
the Congress and the President of the United States to repeal a 
regulation created by a bureaucrat, or many bureaucrats--a regulation 
that may or may not be consistent with the law passed by this body, by 
the Senate, and by a President in this or a previous Congress.
  Again, for the freshmen, we are the body that creates laws, and we do 
so through a complex and difficult procedure. We pass it out of the 
House or Senate. We then pass it out of the other body. If the 
President signs it, it then still is subject to court challenge.

                              {time}  1400

  Now, let's go through the regulatory process: Proposed by a 
bureaucrat, given a period of time in which dissenters may be 100 
percent, and still it becomes law if this body does not act. So now 
that gives you a little feel for the underlying law. Used once on a 
bipartisan basis to take back an unpopular regulation that has never 
been resubmitted under both 8 years of a Republican and 8 years of a 
Democrat in the White House, and I repeat, the regulation that was 
previously recalled was so in error that it has never been redone in 16 
years by two Presidents.
  Now, let's talk about the bill we have before us today. We all know 
that the House is a body that, when it wants to, can move fairly 
quickly, and the Senate is a body that seemingly moves quickly only in 
recess. The fact is that the Senate takes a long time, and we have many 
regulations that may or may not be considered now or in the future.
  All this legislation does is allow for us to dispose of one or more 
regulations in an expedited fashion in this body and have it seen in 
the same form in the Senate. Nothing more than that. It doesn't change 
the underlying law. It doesn't change the fact that the House, the 
Senate, and a President must concur on taking back what is essentially 
a law--that is what a regulation is--created by bureaucrats not elected 
by any of us. So let's keep it as simple as that.
  For the freshmen of either party, when you go to make a vote on this, 
remember, we are not changing the underlying law. Only one regulation 
under the underlying law has ever been repealed, and it was bipartisan 
in both the House and the Senate when it was repealed. It has been 16 
years, and the few that will likely be considered under this act and 
the underlying law will be just that, a relatively few regulations that 
are believed to be unnecessary and for which the House, the Senate, and 
the President concur.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Johnson), a distinguished member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to oppose the 
passage of the so-called Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017, H.R. 21. 
Let's not get it twisted. This is a mundane area that we are in, 
administrative review processes and how we are going to deal with 
regulations coming out of Federal agencies. This is a mundane topic, 
but it has real world implications.
  The bottom line is this is not a jobs bill. The American people sent 
Congress here to work on jobs and to work on economic security for 
Americans, and the first item of business out of this brand-new 
Congress is to gut the House Office of Congressional Ethics. Now, why 
would they want to do that? It was because they liked the idea of the 
fox guarding the henhouse. They wanted to put themselves in control 
over the henhouse once again, and the American people called them on 
it, and so they had to withdraw it.
  So what do they do? Today they come back with not a jobs bill but a 
regulatory bill, an antiregulatory bill, something that protects the 
health, safety, welfare, and well-being of Americans--little ones, 
elderly, workers, people who are consumers. They want to gut 
regulations.
  Now, what regulations do they want to gut? They will tell you, by the 
way, that gutting regulations helps to enhance job creation, but 
nothing can be further from the truth when you consider that under the 
last 8 years of President Obama, where we have had regulatory regimes 
established under the Affordable Care Act and also Dodd-Frank, we have 
created 15.6 million new jobs over 81 straight months of private sector 
job growth. Unemployment is now approaching 4 percent, which is 
basically full employment. And wages are going up for Americans. And so 
despite the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank, you have got Americans 
that are prospering.
  What do the Republicans want to do? They try to trick you into 
believing that they are going to create more jobs by removing 
regulations. What regulations do they want to do away with? It is the 
Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank. So they want to reward their 
campaign contributors, Wall Street fat cats, with this legislation that 
will enable them to create conditions that will be similar to the ones 
that President Obama inherited when he walked into the Presidency 8 
years ago. And you can't fail to remember how bleak and bad the economy 
was.
  The economy was in the tank. President Obama brought it back. Dodd-
Frank brought it back. And millions--20 million more Americans now have 
health insurance than they had back then. And the cost of premiums for 
working people who had insurance through their jobs, the rate of 
increase has gone to the lowest level over the last 50-plus years. That 
is real benefits.
  What the Republicans want to do, they have said they are going to 
repeal and replace ObamaCare. They don't have anything to replace it 
with. They just simply want to repeal it, and that is the regulation 
that they seek to get at with this bill, H.R. 21, Midnight Rules Relief 
Act of 2017. This is an attempt to bring the standard of living that 
Americans have come to enjoy to a halt. It is going to impact 
negatively our ability to be secure in our personal finances.
  New data from the American Community Survey indicates that the number 
of uninsured Americans continues

[[Page H78]]

to decline every year. What happens when our rural hospitals close and 
when all the people from throughout the State have to converge on the 
emergency rooms of the urban hospitals, and it is uncompensated care? 
Who pays for it? You pay for it.
  Let's not get this legislation twisted.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute of my time to 
the gentleman.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. This is an attack on your ideals. I ask that 
my colleagues vote against this legislation.
  Mr. ISSA. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I won't be long. There is nothing mundane about what we 
are doing here. Every day in America, Congress passes a law maybe, but 
every working day in America, the bureaucracy passes regulations. The 
fact is, the American people know that the so-called regulatory state 
that has developed during the last half century means that, whether 
Congress is in session or not, new laws are being created, new rules 
that cause people in real America, working people and their companies, 
to have to figure out what new hurdle they have to jump over just to 
earn a living.
  That is what we are talking about here, that at least when those are 
grossly exceeded under the underlying law and intention of Congress, 
Congress--the House, the Senate--in concert with the President, may, in 
fact, use the same tool, essentially the making of law, in this case to 
rescind to law.
  I just want to again speak to the younger Members who may not know 
the history of this. All we are really talking about here in this act 
is, in fact, a law created to take away a regulation. What we are going 
to vote on will allow for, one, two, half a dozen regulations, if there 
were that many that we think are wrong, through our normal lawmaking 
process, in many ways, to be rescinded. The House has to vote a 
majority, the Senate has to vote a majority, and the President has to 
sign it. There really isn't a whole lot of difference between that and 
any other legislative business that we do here.
  Now, I have worked with John Conyers both as a minority member and as 
my chairman. He is a good man. In this case, I believe that if he 
looked more broadly at the question of Congress' responsibility to 
review laws made outside of this body that he would support me. 
Notwithstanding not getting his support in this case, we do have both 
Republicans and Democrats on this bill. I expect that on the vote, in 
both the House and the Senate, it will be bipartisan, and any piece of 
regulatory law that would come before this body and the Senate, I am 
confident, would have bipartisan support in order to rescind a bad 
regulation.
  So I think for those who are concerned about the regulations somehow 
running amok, no regulation will be rescinded under this law any 
different than any normal piece of legislation passed out of the House 
and the Senate and signed by the President.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I want to thank the distinguished gentleman from California for 
pointing out how innocent this measure is, and I am astounded by his 
feeling that regulations shouldn't be examined one by one. Under this 
measure, 61 regulations could be considered en bloc. To me, just trying 
to put together two regulations to revoke them would be very, very hard 
to handle.
  What we are talking about here is a bill that would provide special 
interests with yet another opportunity to block critical lifesaving 
regulations, and I want to say I have never had so much opposition to a 
bill brought to my attention before. 150 environmental organizations, 
consumer organizations, and labor organizations have urged the Members 
of this body to oppose H.R. 21. It is incredible. And then not only are 
workers and consumers against this measure as well as 
environmentalists, businesspeople are against it as well.
  I feel like there is some missing part to this thing. The American 
Sustainable Business Council has over 200,000 businesses. So here is 
labor and commerce combined, urging Congress not to do this on the 
second day of a new Congress with all the challenges that are before 
us, and he says it wouldn't create any problems. It would be okay to 
put in 1 or 2 or 3 or 5 or 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 or 60. This is 
incredible. It is not that we are working so hard that we don't have 
time to examine each one on a particular basis.

                              {time}  1415

  Can you imagine this Congress trying to block regulations which would 
be offered in one bill that could be over 60 different regulations? I 
mean, it is unthinkable. It is not very practical at all.
  When we talk about meat labeling regulations and then in another 
paragraph or another section there would be standards for school lunch 
nutrition, they would be combined. My friend from California would say, 
well, that is no problem. We will take them separately, but they will 
all come in the same package.
  So if you wanted to examine all of these things individually, we 
could have an instance where the whole Congress could be consumed for 
weeks or for months trying to figure out why they should block all of 
these important and sensible safeguards.
  Business and labor are joined with us, and, to me, it is beyond 
comprehension for us to be concerned about not taking them up one at a 
time. This is worse than a conservative point of view, which I haven't 
found myself often agreeing with. But just to say let's have unlimited 
numbers of these blocking provisions all into one is beyond my 
comprehension.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. 
Cohen), a distinguished member of our committee.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member and chairman in 
the past, my chairman.
  This bill has come up over many years when I served on this 
subcommittee and was the ranking member and the chair at one time. Mr. 
Issa suggested it might only be six or seven regulations. If that was 
the case, they could take them individually.
  There is a process where regulations can be brought before the House, 
in the Congressional Review Act, and each one studied individually, and 
the House could overrule them. I can't fathom that they are bringing 
this bill for just six regulations which they could do individually. 
But even then, that is wrong to put them all together. We know what is 
going to happen is they are going to pass. They are going to pass the 
House. Whether they pass the Senate is another issue.
  These are not midnight regulations. These are regulations that go 
back to last June. So the term ``midnight regulations'' is a misnomer. 
To say that these are just decisions made by bureaucrats, you would 
think bureaucrats were something out of a medical dictionary that was 
highly contagious. Bureaucrats could also be called experts, 
specialists, dedicated government officials.
  There are people who study these issues that, to be implemented, need 
to be fine-tuned to fit into society, sometimes to protect consumers, 
sometimes to protect commerce, and it takes years and years and years, 
often, for these regulations to take effect. Some of them protect 
animals--the soring industry.
  A great majority of this House was in favor of a bill to protect 
walking horses, but it didn't get a vote because there were some people 
in this House that were against it and against it so much that they 
worked to get one of the finest Members I have served with, Ed 
Whitfield, out of this House. That was despicable. I suspect that same 
power that might have had that effect could bring that type of 
regulation up to be nullified. I would fear that, and I would find it 
wrong in the spirit of Ed Whitfield and fairness.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman an additional 1 
minute.
  Mr. COHEN. I like Ed Whitfield a lot. A lot of us did. He was a great 
guy. It was wrong, what happened, the way he was forced out because a 
majority of this House wanted a vote on that and it could be put in 
this regulation and it would go.
  Tobacco regulations, toys, protections for children, all potentially 
in jeopardy, as well as other regulations protecting four-legged 
friends.

[[Page H79]]

  I can imagine when this comes up and the decision is made which bills 
to put into this omnibus bill, you are going to have lots of lobbyists 
coming and wanting the bills that affect them adversely, their industry 
is put in it, and you are going to have fundraisers right around it. It 
is going to be a fundraising trough for the Republicans to use and 
bidding basically on who wants to have their regulation put in our bill 
and have it nullified. The nullification acts back in the 1830s with 
John Calhoun are back, not the midnight judges of President Adams.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, how much time remains on each side?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Michigan has 6 minutes 
remaining. The gentleman from California has 13\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  My colleague from Tennessee has been a good friend on many issues. I 
know he is passionate about regulations and laws that he would like to 
have passed, and so am I.
  All of us in Congress have seen that it is extremely easy--the longer 
you are here, the more you will see it--it is extremely easy to stop 
something here. The same is true about those 61 or so regulations. Any 
combining of regulations, unless they are overwhelmingly disapproved, 
actually makes them harder to pass. We are not going to put 61 pieces 
of legislation, each of which has at least one or two or three or a 
dozen Republicans who vehemently oppose that regulation being 
rescinded. The fact is it is only the worst of the worst that are going 
to be stayed through this process and then reevaluated by the new 
administration.
  I will mention, though, for my colleagues on the other side of this 
debate today, that we do appropriations every year. The American 
people, and for the freshmen who haven't voted on appropriations yet, 
think of appropriations as somehow different than the law. It really 
isn't. Appropriation is simply a law that provides funding.
  Every appropriation bill during the entire nearly 8 years of 
President Obama has been some form of a continuing resolution or an 
omnibus. But as my colleague from Tennessee knows, every one of those 
has had dozens to hundreds of laws attached to them. We call them 
riders. We have terms for them. The fact is that a single 
appropriations bill, often done just before the end of funding of the 
government, always--always--has dozens, if not hundreds, of laws 
attached to it.

  So the idea that we don't group together things which are relatively 
noncontroversial, that will cause someone to still vote for the bill in 
spite of it being in there, would be to be dishonest to the freshmen 
who need to know that we do for efficiency bring together things that 
we can pass en bloc, and we do it all the time--and even major 
legislation. I dare say, the Affordable Care Act and others are, in 
fact, multiple pieces of legislation put together in one package.
  So lest our freshmen who are about to take their first vote on a 
piece of legislation--or one that could have a major impact--
misunderstand, bringing together multiple pieces into one bill is 
common, but it is always done in order to gain votes or to maintain 
votes. In fact, you do it at your folly if you lose votes.
  I would say to my friend and colleague from Michigan that there is no 
likelihood that 61 pieces of regulation will be put together because 
there is no chance that there would be 61 pieces that even all 
Republicans would agree should be revoked. I would imagine the number 
would be less. I suspect that if my bill said 2 or 5 or 10, it would 
still be opposed for the same reason, which is that it creates 
inefficiency if there are multiple generally agreed bad pieces of 
legislation that need to be considered.
  Lastly, and I am not closing, but I think this may be one of my 
closing remarks, for freshmen to understand, this isn't even about the 
House. We have the procedures in the House where we could put these 
together. This is about the Senate that can take 60 hours, 60 
legislative hours or more, to do one piece of legislation. We know that 
the Senate has confirmations to do of judges and appointees for the 
Cabinet, and they have other legislative work, and we cannot afford to 
have them backed up now or in the future if there are multiple 
regulations that need to be rescinded.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Scott), who, up until recently, was a very active member 
of the House Judiciary Committee. He is now the ranking member on the 
Education and the Workforce Committee.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 21, 
the so-called Midnight Rules Relief Act, which amends the Congressional 
Review Act. The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to overrule 
regulations promulgated by the executive branch. That law expects a 
deliberative approach to considering each and every rule.
  H.R. 21 would allow Congress to consider a joint resolution to 
simultaneously disapprove of multiple regulations all at once when such 
rules are issued in the last 60 legislative days of a session of 
Congress during the final year of a President's term. In this case, the 
60 legislative days reach-back would apply to rules issued as far back 
as June of last year, almost 7 months before the end of the President's 
term. To call rules issued that long ago a midnight rule is a 
particular misnomer.
  This bill puts in place an indiscriminate process to eliminate rules, 
many of which have been under development for years--or even decades--
to protect consumers, working families, and students. This bill denies 
Congress the opportunity for a careful, individualized, case-by-case 
review that is appropriate for a reasoned, decisionmaking legislative 
body.
  Under the Congressional Review Act, if a rule is eliminated, such 
rule can never be taken up again in similar form without additional 
legislation overriding the restriction, even if the undesirable rule 
turns out, upon further reflection, to have been the best alternative.
  Some of the rules that could be impacted that are just under the 
jurisdiction of the Education and the Workforce Committee include the 
Department of Labor's rule requiring Federal contractors to provide up 
to 7 days of paid sick leave annually for their employees; the upcoming 
OSHA rule, which has been under development for 18 years, which would 
protect workers from exposure to beryllium, a metal that can cause lung 
disease, resulting in a victim essentially suffocating to death; the 
Department of Education's rule involving the borrower's defense, which 
helps student borrowers who are defrauded by their universities; and 
the Department of Education's K-12 accountability rule, which involves 
the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, making sure that 
all students can graduate ready for success for college and career.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman an additional 30 
seconds.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. H.R. 21 is poised to allow wholesale 
undermining of critical protections for students, workers, taxpayers, 
and consumers. I, therefore, urge a ``no'' vote.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1430

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Castor).
  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the Republicans' Midnight 
Rules Relief Act.
  The bill is an unnecessary abdication of legislative responsibility 
by the Republican-led Congress, and it is very poor public policy. The 
bill short-circuits open debate and public participation. It is also 
very wasteful because it jettisons carefully and long-crafted policies 
that protect American families from threats to their economic security, 
their health, and their safety.
  Under the U.S. Constitution, after Congress passes a law, agencies 
craft rules to implement that legislation. If Members of Congress want 
to clarify or change executive branch regulations, they have a 
responsibility to address the matter in a transparent way and through 
open, regular order. Republicans don't want to do that, however,

[[Page H80]]

because the public might find out what they are doing.
  This Republican scheme sets a dangerous precedent by expanding the 
ability of the Congress to use the Congressional Review Act to 
disapprove hundreds of carefully crafted policies at one time and with 
very little notice or debate. Republicans want to reach back to last 
May and cherry-pick policies that they do not agree with.
  But how will the public know?
  That will be difficult; and, in many instances, Republicans do not 
want the public to know.
  I urge my colleagues to reject this power grab by the new Republican 
Congress. It is just like what they tried to do yesterday with the 
Office of Congressional Ethics. These policies don't just come out of 
thin air. There is a long, painstaking process with extensive public 
comment. Public participation doesn't appear to be a priority in this 
new Congress, so reject this dark bill. Side, instead, with our 
democratic principles in America, which include open debate, 
transparency, fiscal responsibility, and the security of our neighbors.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  The gentlewoman from Florida, I am sure, is well intended, but there 
is nothing more transparent than calling up to the floor of this House 
and debating the removal of regulations that have been found to be 
excessive or extreme or simply not consistent with the law. That is a 
transparent process. The term ``regular order,'' in fact, could not be 
more appropriate to that process. We passed a law nearly three 
Presidents ago, if you will, that simply called for this procedure.
  All I am saying is we should not be mired down, if there are five or 
six or eight bad regulations, in not combining them together for 
purposes of getting them disposed of in a timely fashion. I might 
suggest to everyone that they remember that many of us did not support 
the regulation change yesterday as to the ethics oversight, because we 
do believe in transparency and will continue to believe in 
transparency.
  Again, nothing is more transparent than bringing to the House floor 
the debate about something that is believed to have been wrong done by 
unelected bureaucrats. ``Bureaucrat'' is not a dirty word, but 
``unelected'' fits this process.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a CRS Report that 
highlights the fact that it would be permissible under this proposed 
bill that as many as 61 regulations could be bundled into one package 
and blocked by this bill.

                               Congressional Research Service,

                                                  January 3, 2017.

                               Memorandum

     Subject: ``Major'' Obama Administration Rules Potentially 
         Eligible to be Overturned under the Congressional Review 
         Act in the 115th Congress.
     From: Maeve P. Carey, Specialist in Government Organization 
         and Management; Christopher M. Davis, Analyst on Congress 
         and the Legislative Process; Casey Burgat, Research 
         Assistant.
       This memorandum lists ``major'' rules issued by federal 
     agencies under the Barack Obama Administration that are 
     potentially subject to consideration under the procedures of 
     the Congressional Review Act (CRA) in the 115th Congress. 
     This is an updated version of a general distribution 
     memorandum released by CRS on November 17, 2016, and 
     previously updated on December 6, 2016.


               Background on the Congressional Review Act

       The CRA is a tool that Congress may use to overturn a rule 
     issued by a federal agency, including, in some cases, rules 
     issued in a previous session of Congress and by a previous 
     President. The CRA requires agencies to report on their 
     rulemaking activities to Congress and provides Congress with 
     a special set of procedures under which to consider 
     legislation to overturn those rules. The CRA, which was 
     enacted in 1996, was largely intended to assert control over 
     agency rulemaking by establishing a special set of expedited 
     or ``fast track'' legislative procedures for this purpose, 
     primarily in the Senate.
       Of the approximately 73,000 final rules that have been 
     submitted to Congress since the legislation was enacted in 
     1996, the CRA has been used to disapprove one rule: the 
     Occupational Safety and Health Administration's November 2000 
     final rule on ergonomics, which was overturned using the CRA 
     in March 2001. The primary reason the CRA has overturned one 
     rule in the 20 years since its enactment is that under most 
     circumstances, it is likely that a President would veto such 
     a resolution in order to protect rules developed under his 
     own administration, and it may also be difficult for Congress 
     to muster the two-thirds vote in both houses needed to 
     overturn the veto. However, under a specific set of 
     circumstances--a turnover in party control of the White 
     House, particularly a turnover in which the incoming 
     President shares a party affiliation with a majority in both 
     houses of Congress--the CRA is more likely to be used 
     successfully. The March 2001 rejection of the ergonomics rule 
     was the result of that set of circumstances. Similar 
     circumstances will take place in 2017 after the start of the 
     115th Congress and after President-elect Donald J. Trump is 
     sworn into office.


                        CRA ``Reset'' Mechanism

       Section 801(d) of the CRA provides that, if Congress 
     adjourns its annual session sine die less than 60 legislative 
     days in the House of Representatives or 60 session days in 
     the Senate after a rule is submitted to it, then the periods 
     to submit and act on a disapproval resolution ``reset'' in 
     their entirety in the next session of Congress'' The purpose 
     of this provision is to ensure that both houses of Congress 
     have sufficient time to consider disapproving rules submitted 
     during this end-of-session ``carryover period.'' This 
     provision applies in every session of Congress, but it is of 
     particular relevance in sessions of Congress that coincide 
     with presidential transitions. This provision allows, for a 
     limited time period, a new Congress to consider a joint 
     resolution disapproving a rule issued late in the previous 
     administration. If introduced and considered at the proper 
     time, such a joint resolution cannot be filibustered in the 
     Senate.
       The projected second-session meeting schedules of the House 
     and Senate issued by each chamber's majority leader may be 
     used to estimate the date in 2016 after which final rules 
     submitted to Congress will be subject to the renewed review 
     periods in 2017 described above. The estimated start of the 
     reset period for all rules was determined by counting back 
     from the projected sine die adjournment in the respective 
     chambers--60 days of session in the Senate and 60 legislative 
     days in the House--then taking the earlier of the two dates.
       Under this calculation, CRS estimates that agency final 
     rules submitted to Congress on or after June 13, 2016, will 
     be subject to renewed review periods in 2017 by a new 
     President and a new Congress. CRS day count estimates are 
     unofficial and non-binding; the House and Senate 
     Parliamentarians are the sole definitive arbiters of the 
     operation of the CRA mechanism and should be consulted if a 
     formal opinion is desired.


     ``Major'' Obama Administration Rules Potentially Eligible for 
                  Consideration under the CRA in 2017

       Using this estimated reset date of June 13, 2016, CRS 
     compiled a list of major rules that would fall under this 
     reset period--i.e., rules that could be overturned in the 
     115th Congress using the CRA.
       Table 1 lists the major rules CRS has identified as of 
     January 3, 2017, that could be eligible for the reset 
     mechanism. To identify these rules, CRS used a two-step 
     process. First, CRS consulted the Government Accountability 
     Office's (GAO's) federal rules database to identify major 
     rules that were issued during calendar year 2016 and posted 
     on GAO's website as of January 3, 2017. Second, CRS used 
     LIS's ``Executive Communications'' database to identify when 
     these rules were received in Congress.

  Major Rules Issued by the Obama Administration That Are Potentially 
  Eligible for Disapproval Under the Congressional Review Act in the 
                             115th Congress


       major rules listed on gao's website as of january 3, 2017

       Title of Rule (As Published in Federal Register) and RIN 
     Numbers are as follows:
       Exemptions To Facilitate Intrastate and Regional Securities 
     Offerings, 3235-AL80; Investment Company Liquidity Risk 
     Management Programs, 3235-AL61; Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and 
     EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting 
     High-Skilled NonImmigrant Workers, 1615-ACO5; Walking-Working 
     Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection 
     Systems), 1216-AB80; Waste Prevention, Production Subject to 
     Royalties, and Resource Conservation, 1004-AE14; Investment 
     Company Swing Pricing, 3235-AL61; Establishing a More 
     Effective Fair Market Rent System; Using Small Area Fair 
     Market Rents in the Housing Choice Voucher Program Instead of 
     the Current 50th Percentile FMRs, 2501-AD74; Medicare 
     Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician 
     Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2017; 
     Medicare Advantage Bid Pricing Data Release; Medicare 
     Advantage and Part D Medical Loss Ratio Data Release; 
     Medicare Advantage Provider Network Requirements; Expansion 
     of Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Model; Medicare 
     Shared Savings Program Requirements, 0938-AS81.
       Medicare Program; CY 2017 Inpatient Hospital Deductible and 
     Hospital and Extended Care Services Coinsurance Amounts, 
     0938-AS70; Medicare Program; Medicare Part B Monthly 
     Actuarial Rates, Premium Rate,

[[Page H81]]

     and Annual Deductible Beginning January 1, 2017, 0938-AS72; 
     Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory 
     Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting 
     Programs; Organ Procurement Organization Reporting and 
     Communication; Transplant Outcome Measures and Documentation 
     Requirements; Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive 
     Programs; Payment to Nonexcepted Off-Campus Provider-Based 
     Department of a Hospital; Hospital Value-Based Purchasing 
     (VBP) Program; Establishment of Payment Rates Under the 
     Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Nonexcepted Items and 
     Services Furnished by an Off-Campus Provider-Based Department 
     of a Hospital, 0938-AS82; Medicare Program; Merit-Based 
     Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Model 
     (APM) Incentive Under the Physician Fee Schedule, and 
     Criteria for Physician-Focused Payment Models, 0938-AS69; 
     Medicare and Medicaid Programs; CY 2017 Home Health 
     Prospective Payment System Rate Update; Home Health Value-
     Based Purchasing Model; and Home Health Quality Reporting 
     Requirements, 0938-AS80; Student Assistance General 
     Provisions, Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Family 
     Education Loan Program, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan 
     Program, and Teacher Education Assistance for College and 
     Higher Education Grant Program, 1840-AD19; Energy 
     Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for 
     Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products, 1904-AC51.
       Medicaid Program; Final FY 2014 and Preliminary FY 2016 
     Disproportionate Share Hospital Allotments, and Final FY 2014 
     and Preliminary FY 2016 Institutions for Mental Diseases 
     Disproportionate Share Hospital Limits, 0938-ZB30; Cross-
     State Air Pollution Rule Update For The 2008 Ozone NAAQS, 
     2060-AS05; Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency 
     Standards for Medium-and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles--
     Phase 2, 2060-AS16; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 
     Fee Schedule, 1615-AC09; Treatment of Certain Interests in 
     Corporations as Stock or Indebtedness, 1545-BN40; 
     Establishment of the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS), 
     1651-ABO8; ONC Health IT Certification Program: Enhanced 
     Oversight and Accountability, 0955-AA00; Clearing Requirement 
     Determination Under Section 2(H) of the Commodity Exchange 
     Act For Interest Rate Swaps, 3038-AE20; Standards For Covered 
     Clearing Agencies, 3235-AL48.
       Medicare and Medicaid Programs, Reform of Requirements for 
     Long-Term Care Facilities, 0938-AR61; Child Care And 
     Development Fund (CCDF) Program, 0970-AC67; Establishing Paid 
     Sick Leave For Federal Contractors, 1235-AA13; OCC Guidelines 
     Establishing Standards For Recovery Planning By Certain Large 
     Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, 
     And Insured Federal Branches; Technical Amendments, 1557-
     AD96; Emergency Preparedness Requirements For Medicare And 
     Medicaid Participating Providers And Suppliers, 0938-A091; 
     Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations On Certain Federal Indian 
     Reservations And Ceded Lands For The 2016-17 Season, 1018-
     BA70; Safety And Effectiveness Of Consumer Antiseptics; 
     Topical Antimicrobial Drug Products For Over-The-Counter-
     Human Use, 0910-AF69; Head Start Performance Standards, 0970-
     AC63; Standards Of Performance For Municipal Solid Waste 
     Landfills, 2060-AMO8; Emission Guidelines And Compliance 
     Times For Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, 2060-AS23.
       Federal Acquisition Regulation; Fair Pay And Safe 
     Workplaces, 9000-AM81; Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient 
     Prospective Payment Systems For Acute Care Hospitals And The 
     Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System & Policy 
     Changes & Fiscal Year 2017 Rates; Quality Reporting 
     Requirements For Specific Providers; Graduate Medical 
     Education; Hospital Notification Procedures Applicable To 
     Beneficiaries Receiving Observation Services; Technical 
     Changes Relating To Costs To Organizations & Medicare Cost 
     Reports; Finalization Of Interim Final Rules With Comment 
     Period On LTCH PPS Payments For Severe Wounds, Modifications 
     Of Limitations On Redesignation By The Medicare Geographic 
     Classification Review Board, & Extensions Of Payments To MDHS 
     And Low-Volume Hospitals, 0938-A577; 0938-A588; 0938-AS41; 
     Workforce Innovation And Opportunity Act; Joint Rule For 
     Unified And Combined State Plans, Performance Accountability, 
     And The One-Stop System Joint Provisions; Final Rule, 1205-
     AB74; Workforce Innovation And Opportunity Act, 1205-AB73; 
     Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System And Consolidated 
     Billing For Skilled Nursing Facilities For FY 2017, SNF 
     Value-Based Purchasing Program, SNF Quality Reporting 
     Program, And SNF Payment Models Research, 0938-AS75.
       Medicare Program; Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility 
     Prospective Payment System For Federal Fiscal Year 2017, 
     0938-AS78; Medicare Program; FF 2017 Hospice Wage Index And 
     Payment Rate Update And Hospice Quality Reporting 
     Requirements, 0938-AS79; Margin And Capital Requirements For 
     Covered Swap Entities, 3052-AC69; Medicare Program; FY 2017 
     Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Prospective Payment System--
     Rate Update, 0938-AS76; National School Lunch Program And 
     School Breakfast Program. Nutrition Standards For All Foods 
     Sold In School As Required By The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids 
     Act Of 2010, 0584-AE09; Revised Critical Infrastructure 
     Protection Reliability Standards No RIN provided; Amendments 
     To The Commission's Rules Of Practice, 3235-AL87; Disclosure 
     Of Payments By Resource Extraction Issuers, 3235-AL53; 
     Migratory Bird Hunting; Seasons And Bag And Possession Limits 
     For Certain Migratory Game Birds, 1018-BA70; Oil And Gas And 
     Sulfur Operations On The Outer Continental Shelf--
     Requirements For Exploratory Drilling On The Arctic Outer 
     Continental Shelf, 1082-AA00.
       Medication Assisted Treatment For Opioid Use Disorders, 
     0930-AA22; Department Of Labor Federal Civil Penalties 
     Inflation Adjustment Act Catch-Up Adjustments, 1290-AA31; 
     General Administrative Regulations; Catastrophic Risk 
     Protection Endorsement; Area Risk Protection Insurance 
     Regulations; And The Common Crop Insurance Regulations, Basic 
     Provisions, 0563-AC49; Transition Assistance Program (TAP) 
     For Military Personnel, 0790-AJ17; Operation And 
     Certification Of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, 2120-AJ60; 
     Transit Asset Management, National Transit Database; FTA-
     2014-0020, 092132-ABO7; Revision Of Fee Schedules; Fee 
     Recovery For Fiscal Year 2016, 3150-AJ66; Medicare Program; 
     Medicare Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests Payment System, 
     0938-AS33; James Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund 
     Reauthorization Act, 1105-AB49; Energy Conservation Program: 
     Energy Conservation Standards For Battery Chargers, 1904-
     AB57; Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation 
     Standards For Dehumidifiers, 1904-AC81; Removal Of Mandatory 
     Country Of Origin Labeling Requirements For Beef And Pork 
     Muscle Cuts, Ground Beef, And Ground Pork, 0581-AD29.

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the 
gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Velazquez).
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, here we go again with another piece of misguided 
legislation, but this one will jeopardize the health and safety of the 
American people to benefit corporate America and polluters.
  Let's be clear. The protections that will be overwhelmingly targeted 
by this measure are not so-called midnight regulations. These are rules 
that went through significant vetting. There are a host of statutes 
that govern how regulations are crafted. From the Administrative 
Procedure Act to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, to the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act, to the Paperwork Reduction Act, there are numerous 
processes to ensure regulations are written in a way that protect the 
American people while preventing overreach.
  Mr. Speaker, as the ranking member of the Small Business Committee, I 
am well acquainted with the need to ensure that the regulatory process 
is balanced. No one here supports overregulation; but, at the same 
time, we cannot eliminate safeguards that have a proven record of 
protecting the American public. This bill also has the potential to 
create significant regulatory uncertainty for the same small businesses 
my colleagues say they are trying to help.
  At its core, this bill is about enabling the largest and most 
powerful corporations to run rampant--without accountability. The 
legislation before us could result in less protections for consumers, 
and it could strip away workplace protections. We should reject this 
bill. I urge my colleagues to vote ``no.''
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire as to how much time I have 
remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from California has 7\1/2\ 
minutes remaining, and the time of the gentleman from Michigan has 
expired.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  I served on the Small Business Committee with Ms. Velazquez a long 
time ago. One thing that we all know is, with regard to that committee, 
the NFIB--the National Federation of Independent Business--and small 
business groups alike are something we look at, even NAM--the National 
Association of Manufacturers--and, of course, the Chamber. All of those 
organizations support this legislation. They have written letters in 
support, and I include in the Record those letters.
       The following is a list of supporters of H.R. 21, the 
     Midnight Rules Relief Act:
       American Action Forum, American Center for Law and Justice, 
     American Commitment, American Energy Alliance, American Fuel 
     and Petrochemical Manufacturers, Americans for Prosperity--
     Key Vote, Americans for Tax Reform, Associated Builders and 
     Contractors, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Concerned 
     Women for America.
       Family Business Coalition, FreedomWorks, Heating Air-
     conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International

[[Page H82]]

     (HARDI), International Franchise Association, Let Freedom 
     Ring, National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), 
     National Association of Manufacturers, National Federation 
     for Independent Business, R Street Institute, SBE Council, 
     U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
                                  ____

                                               Associated Builders


                                        and Contractors, Inc.,

                                                  January 4, 2017.
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of Associated Builders and 
     Contractors (ABC), a national construction industry trade 
     association with 70 chapters representing nearly 21,000 
     chapter members, I am writing in regard to the Regulations 
     from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017 
     (H.R. 26) introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) as well as 
     the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017 (H.R. 21) introduced by 
     Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).
       From 2009 to present, the federal government imposed nearly 
     $900 billion in regulatory costs on the American people which 
     requires billions of hours of paperwork. Many of these 
     regulations have been or will be imposed on the construction 
     industry. ABC is committed to reforming the broken federal 
     regulatory process and ensuring industry stakeholders' voices 
     are heard and rights are protected. ABC supports increased 
     transparency and opportunities for regulatory oversight by 
     Congress and ultimately, the American people.
       The Obama administration issued numerous rulemakings that 
     detrimentally impact the construction industry. In some 
     cases, these regulations are based on conjecture and 
     speculation, lacking foundation in sound scientific analysis. 
     For the construction industry, unjustified and unnecessary 
     regulations translate to higher costs, which are then passed 
     along to the consumer or lead to construction projects being 
     priced out of the market. This chain reaction ultimately 
     results in fewer projects, and hinders businesses' ability to 
     hire and expand.
       ABC members understand the value of standards and 
     regulations when they are based on solid evidence, with 
     appropriate consideration paid to implementation costs and 
     input from the business community. Federal agencies must be 
     held accountable for full compliance with existing rulemaking 
     statutes and requirements when promulgating regulations to 
     ensure they are necessary, current and cost-effective for 
     businesses to implement.
       ABC opposes unnecessary, burdensome and costly regulations 
     resulting from the efforts of Washington bureaucrats who have 
     little accountability for their actions. H.R. 26 will help to 
     bring greater accountability to the rulemaking process as it 
     would require any executive branch rule or regulation with an 
     annual economic impact of $100 million or more to come before 
     Congress for an up-or-down vote before being enacted. 
     Moreover, H.R. 21 will further enhance congressional 
     oversight of the overreaching regulations often issued during 
     the final months of a president's term and help to revive the 
     division of powers.
       Thank you for your attention on this important matter and 
     we urge the House to pass the Regulations from the Executive 
     in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017 and Midnight Rules 
     Relief Act of 2017 when they come to the floor for a vote.
           Sincerely,
                                               Kristen Swearingen,
     Vice President of Legislative & Political Affairs.
                                  ____

                                           National Association of


                                                Manufacturers,

                                                  January 4, 2017.
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the National Association 
     of Manufacturers (NAM), I am writing to express 
     manufacturers' support for the passage of H.R. 21, the 
     Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017, introduced by Congressman 
     Darrell Issa (R-CA).
       The NAM is the largest manufacturing association in the 
     United States, representing small and large manufacturers in 
     every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing 
     employs nearly 12 million men and women, contributes more 
     than $1.8 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the 
     largest economic impact of any major sector, and accounts for 
     two-thirds of private sector research and development. The 
     NAM is the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps 
     manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs 
     across the United States.
       The Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017 would amend the 
     Congressional Review Act to provide Congress the authority to 
     consider one joint resolution of disapproval for regulations 
     en bloc as opposed to a single regulation at a time. As the 
     end of an Administration approaches, there is an incentive 
     for federal agencies to issue a significant number of 
     regulations. These are known as midnight rules, and H.R. 21 
     would allow Congress to effectively respond to regulations 
     that conflict with congressional intent, exceed an agency's 
     statutory authority or are hastily drafted and issued as an 
     Administration prepares its departure.
       The problem of midnight rules is not new and is not unique 
     to a particular political party. As an administration 
     attempts to complete its regulatory agenda, an abundance of 
     midnight rules can overwhelm Congress' ability to engage in 
     proper oversight of federal agencies. Midnight rules can be 
     issued without justification and without an agency conducting 
     proper regulatory analysis. Congress should be granted the 
     authority needed to appropriately respond to the issuance of 
     a midnight rules that might not be drafted in accordance with 
     sound regulatory principles.
       Manufacturers support a regulatory system that results in 
     regulations that efficiently and effectively achieve policy 
     objectives, and we urge you to support passage of H.R. 21, 
     the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017.
       Thank you for your consideration.
           Sincerely,
     Rosario Palmieri.
                                  ____


              [From Americanactionforum.org, Jan. 3, 2017]

                     The Regulatory Cleanup Begins

              (By Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Patrick Hefflinger)

       On Wednesday Vice President-elect Mike Pence is scheduled 
     to meet with House Republicans to discuss Obamacare repeal 
     and replacement plans. Republicans are expected to delay 
     repealing parts of Obamacare to allow for more time to design 
     a replacement health care plan. President Obama is expected 
     to meet with Congressional Democrats on Wednesday as well to 
     discuss plans for defending Obamacare from repeal.
       Last week the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that 
     they had reached final agreements with Swiss banks on the 
     Swiss Bank Program. The program aims to help financial 
     institutions avoid criminal liabilities due to U.S. tax 
     crimes by granting banks non-prosecution eligibility if they 
     meet certain requirements. The Swiss Bank program was 
     initially announced in 2013.


               Eakinomics: The Regulatory Cleanup Begins

       The tally has been mounting for years--over 3,000 costly 
     regulations totaling nearly $875 billion in finalized burden 
     costs. As the economy became increasingly festooned with rule 
     making and regulatory drag, conservatives have promised to 
     bring the regulatory state to sanity given the first 
     opportunity. That moment has presumably arrived. Congress 
     returns from the holidays with plans to get started.
       Specifically, I expect that the House will begin cleaning 
     up the midnight regulatory onslaught by the Obama 
     administration. Historically, this would have required a 
     regulation-by-regulation use of the Congressional Review Act 
     (CRA). Instead, the House will consider a bill (HR 5982 in 
     the last Congress), which would permit Congress to disapprove 
     multiple midnight rules en banc--in a single resolution.
       That takes care of the last-gasp efforts of the outgoing 
     president. But what guarantees better performance in the 
     future? The House will next turn to the Regulations from the 
     Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. With the REINS 
     Act, Congress would have 70 legislative days to approve a 
     major rule with economic impact over $100 million. Only then 
     would it be sent to the president for signature. Without a 
     positive vote, the regulation would not take effect. If 
     enacted, REINS could save more than $27 billion in annual 
     regulatory costs and 11.5 million paperwork burden hours 
     according to AAF research by Sam Batkins.
       Passage of the REINS Act (or other, similar, legislation) 
     would insert Congress more firmly into the regulatory 
     process, a significant change that is not done lightly. 
     However, the lesson of the past eight years is that even 
     without executive overreach the regulatory process does not 
     correctly balance benefits and costs; a recalibration of the 
     underlying process is overdue.
                                                  Small Business &


                                     Entrepreneurship Council,

                                      Vienna, VA, January 3, 2017.
     Hon. Darrell Issa,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative Issa: The Small Business 
     Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) strongly supports the 
     ``Midnight Rules Relief Act.'' This legislation is vital as 
     it provides a needed check against the surge in new and 
     questionable regulatory activity that is flooding into the 
     Federal Register, which will eventually make its way to small 
     businesses.
       While ``midnight regulations'' have been a problem across 
     Administrations, what is happening in the current period is 
     staggering. According to the American Action Forum, the 
     current output of midnight rules is up 42 percent over 2008, 
     and 48 percent over 2000. This regulatory surge must be 
     ``checked'' and contained by Congress before it causes 
     permanent damage to the competitiveness of many types of 
     small businesses.
       The end-game push on the regulatory front will undoubtedly 
     show that shortcuts were taken in a process meant to protect 
     small businesses. Mercatus Center research found that the 
     quality of analysis suffers during the midnight regulatory 
     period, which means these regulations are ``excessively 
     costly'' or ineffective. Poorly constructed and politically-
     driven regulation will only create more uncertainty and costs 
     for our nation's struggling small businesses.
       Your legislation will provide Congress with needed 
     flexibility in using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) by 
     allowing a CRA resolution to address more than one 
     regulation. This important reform enhances the CRA and allows 
     Congress to use its time efficiently to address the many 
     issues that face our economy and nation.
       Thank you for your continued leadership on issues important 
     to entrepreneurs and

[[Page H83]]

     small businesses. Please let us know how we can help to 
     ensure the ``Midnight Rules Relief Act'' is signed into law.
           Sincerely,
                                                   Karen Kerrigan,
     President & CEO.
                                  ____


                     [From Townhall, Jan. 4, 2017]

       The House Can Start Reversing Obama's Regulatory Overreach

                         (By Christine Harbin)

       President Obama has made a series of executive decisions in 
     his final weeks in office that will undoubtedly harm the 
     economy.
       Particularly egregious were his recent announcements on 
     energy and environmental policy: He rejected the permit for 
     the Dakota access pipeline, exempted wind farm companies from 
     killing eagles, abused the Antiquities Act to remove western 
     lands from economic development, and prohibited federal 
     offshore drilling and mineral leases on millions of acres 
     across the country, including 115 million acres off the coast 
     of Alaska.
       This flurry of regulatory activity is simply the latest in 
     a long line of overreaches from the Obama White House. The 
     outgoing president has consistently sought ways to enact his 
     agenda unilaterally over his two terms--notoriously ``working 
     around Congress'' in order to do so. A recent report from the 
     American Action Forum found that the Obama administration 
     issued 600 major regulations totaling $743 billion over the 
     course of his presidency. This is an average of 81 major 
     regulations--regulations that exceed $100 million by agency 
     estimates--per year.
       Thankfully, the House of Representatives is poised to hit 
     the ground running in slowing the growth of the regulatory 
     state. Representatives will consider two important bills on 
     the floor as one of their first orders of business for the 
     year. Both bills, once passed by the Senate and signed by 
     future President Trump, will bring meaningful relief to the 
     American families and businesses across the country who are 
     currently drowning in red tape.
       The first bill, Rep. Darrell Issa's Midnight Rule Relief 
     Act, is particularly important given the onslaught of 
     regulations coming from the White House and the scarcity of 
     available floor time in Congress. It would allow Congress to 
     disapprove of multiple so-called ``midnight rules''--
     regulations finalized in the waning days of the 
     administration--using a single Congressional Review Act (CRA) 
     resolution, as opposed to disapproving of these rules 
     individually. This change will make it easier for Congress to 
     disapprove of the Obama administration's recent spate of 
     economically dangerous actions.
       The second bill, the Regulations from the Executive in Need 
     of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, is also important. This would 
     require executive agencies to submit ``major'' rules--those 
     with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more--to 
     Congress for review and a clear up-or-down vote before the 
     rules take effect. This would assert Congress's proper role 
     in approving the rules that govern the country, an authority 
     which has been increasingly delegated to executive agencies. 
     It would also encourage more debate among lawmakers about the 
     size and scope of the federal government. Incoming Sen. Todd 
     Young championed this important legislation during his time 
     in the House; it's good to see Rep. Doug Collins introduce it 
     in this new Congress.
       Both of these bills received bipartisan support in past 
     Congresses; they may enjoy even more in this current one. 
     Strange bedfellows could emerge in anticipation of the Trump 
     presidency. Democrats in Congress who want to limit the 
     ability of a Republican White House to enact new rules, as 
     well as Republicans who principally support limiting the size 
     and scope of government.
       Americans across the county voted for President-elect 
     Donald Trump and a Republican majority in Congress because 
     they are tired of President Obama's harmful regulatory 
     agenda. It's little surprise that President-elect Donald 
     Trump swept rust belt states and the upper Midwest in the 
     recent election--these parts of the country have been 
     devastated by President Obama's regulatory overreach, and 
     they stood to lose even further under the threats of a 
     Hillary Clinton administration.
       Congress is right to reverse President Obama's regulatory 
     assault on job creation and economic growth in this county, 
     and it should work closely with President-elect Trump in 
     peeling it back. Representatives should support the two 
     regulatory reform bills when they come up on the floor this 
     week, and they should seek additional efforts to overturn 
     these myriad rules, including future Congressional Review Act 
     resolutions of disapproval and adding appropriations riders 
     that would prohibit funding for implementation of the worst 
     rules, while executive agencies promulgate new rules to 
     eliminate them.
       Doing so will send a strong message that lawmakers are 
     willing to stand up to the executive overreach of the past 
     eight years.

  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, the fact is we are hearing many people talk 
about important regulations and of their somehow being taken out. Let's 
understand that regulations can go both ways. These changes and the 
underlying law can also protect the other way. The fact is now we are 
in the future. You could have an administration that, in its final 
days, changes regulations to make them more lenient to large 
businesses, more lenient to polluters, more lenient to the employers to 
the detriment of their employees. Regulations can go both ways, and 
only the most extreme regulations--literally one since the enactment of 
the underlying legislation--has ever been repealed.
  I don't want to belittle my own legislation, but let's understand 
that there won't be 61 en bloc being brought. There will be some, I 
hope, and there may be more than one. Yet for Congress to take back, 
piece by piece, its responsibility and then live up to that 
responsibility should be all of our goals.
  Now, this legislation was limited to midnight rules. Let's understand 
that midnight rules are the rules done in the waning days of an 
administration--7-plus years into this administration--and many of 
these rules, in fact, were enacted after the last vote of the people. I 
think it is important to understand that, on election day, the American 
people delivered a resounding message to Washington: stop the 
regulatory, Big Government onslaught that is killing jobs.
  One of my colleagues earlier spoke of the fact that we had had so 
many jobs--15 million jobs--created in the last 8 years. The percentage 
of the workforce that is working in America today is the smallest in my 
lifetime. It is smaller than it was 8 years ago, 16 years ago, or 21 
years ago. We are not creating jobs at the rate of our population. We 
should not have some sort of an accolade for regulations having created 
a great economy if, in fact, that economy has grown less than 2 percent 
a year and has not kept up with any historic 8-year period. To me, that 
is an important part. Although the discussion I just had was about more 
than regulations, let's understand that the growth of regulations--of 
lawmaking--is certainly not the creator of jobs.
  I think, when we look at the cost--and that is a lot of what we are 
dealing with in the manager's amendment in this bill--we are dealing 
with the recognition that we are looking at regulations in light of how 
much they cost. Now, that cost is based on independent scoring. It is 
not the administration's scoring and it is not my scoring. It is that 
of the Congressional Budget Office's, an independent agency that 
doesn't always give a score I want, but the score is not arrived 
through partisan activities.
  I reach out again to the Members who may not yet know that what we 
are asking is simply to assert our normal ability in Congress and put 
together one or more ideas for the efficiency of the body, to send it 
from here to the Senate, and from the Senate to the President. What we 
are proposing in this legislation as a small change to the underlying 
legislation that has been with us for three Presidents is, in fact, 
consistent with this body's doing its job, in regular order, in the 
clear light of day.
  I think the important message for this piece of bipartisan 
legislation is: we are taking back a limited amount of our capability, 
trying to streamline it, and giving the President an opportunity to 
accept or reject a piece of legislation voted on by a majority of the 
House and a majority of the Senate before it gets to the President. The 
President, if he feels we have included even one regulation 
inappropriately that he would like to retain, would veto our bill.
  Lastly, I beg everyone to look at this for what it is, not for what 
others say it is, because it is simply Congress doing its job in an 
efficient fashion and consistent with 20-plus years of history and with 
there being only one piece--one time--when a regulation was withdrawn. 
No President since that time has tried to produce or has asked Congress 
to pass a law so as to put into effect a regulation that, on a 
bipartisan basis, the House, the Senate, and a President thought should 
go. I urge the support for this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to section 5(b) of House Resolution 5, the previous question 
is ordered on the bill.
  The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill.

[[Page H84]]

  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.


                           Motion to Recommit

  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I have a motion to recommit at 
the desk.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is the gentlewoman opposed to the bill?
  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. I am opposed.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the motion to 
recommit.
  The Clerk read as follows:
       Ms. CASTOR of Florida moves to recommit the bill H.R. 21 to 
     the Committee on the Judiciary with instructions to report 
     the same back to the House forthwith with the following 
     amendment:

       Add, at the end of the bill, the following:

     SEC. 3. EXCEPTION FOR CERTAIN RULES THAT PROHIBIT 
                   DISCRIMINATION BY INSURANCE ISSUERS ON THE 
                   BASIS OF GENDER OR PREEXISTING CONDITION OR 
                   THAT MAKE HEALTHCARE MORE AFFORDABLE FOR 
                   WORKING AMERICANS.

       Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, 
     shall apply in the case of any rule that pertains to the 
     prevention of--
       (1) discrimination by health insurance issuers and group 
     health plans on the basis of preexisting conditions or 
     gender, including in the form of higher premiums for women or 
     loss of benefits such as mammograms, cervical cancer 
     screenings, prenatal care, and commonly prescribed 
     contraception; or
       (2) higher premiums or out-of-pocket costs for seniors for 
     prescription drugs under prescription drug plans under the 
     Medicare program under part D of title XVIII of the Social 
     Security Act (42 2 U.S.C. 1395w-101 et seq.).

  Mr. ISSA (during the reading). Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent 
to dispense with the reading.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
Florida is recognized for 5 minutes in support of her motion.
  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. Mr. Speaker, this is the final amendment to 
the bill, which will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. If 
adopted, the bill will immediately proceed to final passage, as 
amended.
  My amendment provides an important safeguard for the economic 
security of American families by maintaining the consumer-friendly 
protections in the Affordable Care Act for, one, the cost-saving 
provisions in Medicare of lower prescription drugs for our parents and 
our grandparents; and, two, the vital consumer protection that 
prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage because someone has 
a preexisting condition like cancer, asthma, or diabetes.
  The Affordable Care Act, which Republicans say they want to repeal 
without a replacement bill in sight, provided these very important 
consumer protections for all Americans not just for the 20 million 
Americans who gained health insurance through the marketplace or 
HealthCare.gov, but for the vast majority of Americans who are covered 
through Medicare, which is about 43 million Americans, and for the 
folks who have health insurance through their jobs, which is about 155 
million Americans.

                              {time}  1445

  Here is what the Affordable Care Act has done for those folks: One, 
Medicare is stronger. The Affordable Care Act strengthened the Medicare 
fund, extending its life by over a decade. In addition, Medicare 
enrollees have benefited from huge savings in prescription drug costs. 
They have also saved through preventative screenings for breast and 
colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes; that when they 
go to the doctor's office now, there is no cost, there is no charge. 
That is the Affordable Care Act.
  So if Republicans aren't careful in their zeal to repeal the 
Affordable Care Act, they, in essence, will be asking our parents and 
grandparents to pay more, a whole lot more for their prescription 
drugs.
  Let me get a little local here. I represent the State of Florida 
where about 18 percent of Floridians rely on Medicare for their health 
care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, it has started to close the 
doughnut hole. Repeal it now and that stops. That goes away. Just in 
2015 alone, 350,000 Florida seniors saved $351 million on their 
prescription drugs. That is an average of about $1,000 per beneficiary. 
So my amendment makes the point that Democrats are going to fight for 
our older neighbors to keep those savings intact, brought to you by the 
Affordable Care Act.
  Second, we also want to put everyone on notice that Democrats intend 
to fight tooth and nail to keep the vital consumer protection, one of 
the bedrocks of the Affordable Care Act, that bars health insurance 
companies from refusing to cover you or charge you more because you 
have a preexisting condition or charge women more than men.
  Whether you know it or not, all Americans have benefited from the bar 
on discrimination from preexisting conditions since January 1, 2014. So 
if you have health insurance through your employer, you have benefited 
from the Affordable Care Act. If you have gone to healthcare.gov 
because you are a student, part-time worker, or you don't have it 
through your job, you have benefited. If you have health insurance for 
your children through the Children's Health Insurance Program or 
Medicaid, you are no longer subject to discrimination.
  Remember a few years ago when insurance companies maintained a long 
list of conditions where they said, if you have cancer or diabetes or 
something, you are automatically excluded, that is the way things 
worked. A congressional investigation into this practice during the 
healthcare reform debate uncovered more than 400 medical diagnoses or 
conditions that insurance used to justify coverage denial. At the top 
of the list were cancer, heart disease, pregnancy, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, 
multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy.
  You know what? Generally, States with the highest rates of denial 
were in the South and the Midwest where the overall health status of 
residents has consistently been worse than in other parts of the 
country. The incidence of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes is higher 
in those States.
  Well, now you cannot be discriminated against for those preexisting 
conditions. That kind of discrimination wasn't right. It had no place 
in America, so we outlawed it in the Affordable Care Act. Like one of 
my neighbors, Christine Roper in Tampa--Christine is 26. She recently 
aged off her father's insurance and was unsure how to find coverage 
because she has a heart condition and asthma. Before, she would have 
been prohibited from getting health insurance, but not today. And we 
are not going backwards. That is because millions of Americans who can 
now buy coverage would be forced back into the ranks of the uninsured.
  We are going to start this Congress off by standing up for our 
families and rejecting any attempts to repeal and replace the 
Affordable Care Act.
  I urge a ``yes'' vote on my motion, and I yield back the balance of 
my time.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the motion to 
recommit.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from California is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, I remember Chairman Ed Towns who used to say 
when someone ran on: The gentleman's time has long expired. I think we 
might have that situation here, but I am going to give the gentlewoman 
from Florida a moment more in just a moment.
  The motion to recommit specifically sends it back to the committee. 
That is not necessary. The fact is that if she wanted these changes and 
wanted them enacted immediately there is a procedure to do so.
  So I rise in opposition because this is certainly something that 
would delay, would send this back to committee, and cause it to come 
back again.
  I will yield to the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Castor) for a 
question, if she wouldn't mind: Is there a regulation in those 61 that 
would be affected by this that would affect any of the provisions that 
you cited in your amendment?
  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. Well, according to the Midnight Rules Relief 
Act, the public really won't know, and that is the point.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, would the gentlewoman answer the question. Is 
there 61, according to the ranking member, pieces of regulation that

[[Page H85]]

could be in the window? I just wondered if you had one regulation by 
the Obama administration that concerned any of these issues that you 
had in the act.
  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding.
  In fact, there are extensive regulations listed as major rules 
relating to Medicare because part of what we did in the Affordable Care 
Act was to begin to change Medicare from a volume-based system to a 
value-based system.

  Major Rules Issued by the Obama Administration That Are Potentially 
  Eligible for Disapproval Under the Congressional Review Act in the 
                             115th Congress


       Major Rules Listed on GAO's Website As of January 3, 2017

       Title of Rule (As Published in Federal Register) and RIN 
     Number are as follows:
       Exemptions To Facilitate Intrastate and Regional Securities 
     Offerings 3235-AL80; Investment Company Liquidity Risk 
     Management Programs, 3235-AL61; Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and 
     EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting 
     High Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers, 1615-ACO5; Walking-Working 
     Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection 
     Systems), 1216-AB80; Waste Prevention, Production Subject to 
     Royalties, and Resource Conservation, 1004-AE14; Investment 
     Company Swing Pricing, 3235-AL61; Establishing a More 
     Effective Fair Market Rent System; Using Small Area Fair 
     Market Rents in the Housing Choice Voucher Program Instead of 
     the Current 50th Percentile FMRs, 2501-AD74; Medicare 
     Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician 
     Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2017; 
     Medicare Advantage Bid Pricing Data Release; Medicare 
     Advantage and Part D Medical Loss Ratio Data Release; 
     Medicare Advantage Provider Network Requirements; Expansion 
     of Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Model; Medicare 
     Shared Savings Program Requirements, 0938-AS81.
       Medicare Program; CY 2017 Inpatient Hospital Deductible and 
     Hospital and Extended Care Services Coinsurance Amounts, 
     0938-AS70; Medicare Program; Medicare Part B Monthly 
     Actuarial Rates, Premium Rate, and Annual Deductible 
     Beginning January 1, 2017, 0938-AS72; Hospital Outpatient 
     Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment 
     Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Organ Procurement 
     Organization Reporting and Communication; Transplant Outcome 
     Measures and Documentation Requirements; Electronic Health 
     Record (EHR) Incentive Programs; Payment to Nonexcepted Off-
     Campus Provider-Based Department of a Hospital; Hospital 
     Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program; Establishment of 
     Payment Rates Under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 
     Nonexcepted Items and Services Furnished by an Off-Campus 
     Provider-Based Department of a Hospital, 0938-AS82; Medicare 
     Program; Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and 
     Alternative Payment Model (APM) Incentive Under the Physician 
     Fee Schedule, and Criteria for Physician-Focused Payment 
     Models, 0938-AS69; Medicare and Medicaid Programs; CY 2017 
     Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update; Home 
     Health Value-Based Purchasing Model; and Home Health Quality 
     Reporting Requirements, 0938-AS80; Student Assistance General 
     Provisions, Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Family 
     Education Loan Program, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan 
     Program, and Teacher Education Assistance for College and 
     Higher Education Grant Program, 1840-AD19; Energy 
     Conservation Program, Energy Conservation Standards for 
     Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products, 1904-AC51.
       Medicaid Program; Final FY 2014 and Preliminary FY 2016 
     Disproportionate Share Hospital, Allotments, and Final FY 
     2014 and Preliminary FY 2016 Institutions for Mental 
     Diseases, Disproportionate Share Hospital Limits, 0938-ZB30; 
     Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update For The 2008 Ozone 
     NAAQS, 2060-AS05; Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel 
     Efficiency Standards for Medium-and Heavy-Duty Engines and 
     vehicles--Phase 2, 2060-AS16; U.S. Citizenship and 
     Immigration Services Fee Schedule, 1615-AC09; Treatment of 
     Certain Interests in Corporations as Stock or Indebtedness, 
     1545-BN40; Establishment of the Electronic Visa Update System 
     (EVUS), 1651-AB08; ONC Health IT Certification Program: 
     Enhanced Oversight and Accountability, 0955-AA00; Cleaning 
     Requirement Determination Under Section 2(H) Of The Commodity 
     Exchange Act For Interest Rate Swaps, 3038-AE20; Standards 
     For Covered Clearing Agencies, 3235-AL48.
       Medicare And Medicaid Programs; Reform Of Requirements For 
     Long-Term Care Facilities, 0938-AR61; Child Care And 
     Development Fund (CCDF) Program, 0970-AC67; Establishing Paid 
     Sick Leave For Federal Contractors, 1235-AAI3; OCC Guidelines 
     Establishing Standards For Recovery Planning By Certain Large 
     Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, 
     And Insured Federal Branches; Technical Amendments, 1557-
     AD96; Emergency Preparedness Requirements For Medicare And 
     Medicaid Participating Providers And Suppliers, 0938-A091; 
     Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations On Certain Federal Indian 
     Reservations And Ceded Lands For The 2016-17 Season, 1018-
     BA70; Safety And Effectiveness Of Consumer Antiseptics; 
     Topical Antimicrobial Drug Products For Over-The-Counter-
     Human Use, 0910-AF69; Head Start Performance Standards, 0970-
     AC63; Standards Of Performance For Municipal Solid Waste 
     Landfills, 2060-AM08; Emission Guidelines And Compliance 
     Times For Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, 2060-AS23.
       Federal Acquisition Regulation; Fair Pay And Safe 
     Workplaces, 9000-AM81; Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient 
     Prospective Payment Systems For Acute Care Hospitals And The 
     Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System & Policy 
     Changes & Fiscal Year 2017 Rates; Quality Reporting 
     Requirements For Specific Providers; Graduate Medical 
     Education; Hospital Notification Procedures Applicable To 
     Beneficiaries Receiving Observation Services; Technical 
     Changes Relating To Costs To Organizations & Medicare Cost 
     Reports; Finalization Of Interim Final Rules With Comment 
     Period On LTCH PPS Payments For Severe Wounds, Modifications 
     Of Limitations On Redesignation By The Medicare Geographic 
     Classification Review Board, & Extensions Of Payments To MDHS 
     And Low-Volume Hospitals, 0938-AS77; 0938-AS88; 0938-AS41; 
     Workforce Innovation And Opportunity Act; Joint Rule For 
     Unified And Combined State Plans, Performance Accountability, 
     And The One-Stop System Joint Provisions; Final Rule, 1205-
     AB74; Workforce Innovation And Opportunity Act, 1205-AB73; 
     Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System And Consolidated 
     Billing For Skilled Nursing Facilities For FY 2017, SNF 
     Value-Based Purchasing Program, SNF Quality Reporting 
     Program, And SNF Payment Models Research, 0938-AS75.
       Medicare Program; Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility 
     Prospective Payment System For Federal Fiscal Year 2017, 
     0938-AS78; Medicare Program; FF 2017 Hospice Wage Index And 
     Payment Rate Update And Hospice Quality Reporting 
     Requirements, 0938-AS79; Margin And Capital Requirements For 
     Covered Swap Entities, 3052-AC69; Medicare Program; FY 2017 
     Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Prospective Payment System--
     Rate Update, 0938-AS76; National School Lunch Program And 
     School Breakfast Program: Nutrition Standards For All Foods 
     Sold In School As Required By The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids 
     Act Of 2010, 0584-AE09; Revised Critical Infrastructure 
     Protection Reliability Standards, No RIN provided; Amendments 
     To The Commission's Rules Of Practice, 3235-AL87; Disclosure 
     Of Payments By Resource Extraction Issuers, 3235-AL53; 
     Migratory Bird Hunting; Seasons And Bag And Possession Limits 
     For Certain Migratory Game Birds, 1018-BA70; Oil and Gas And 
     Sulfur Operations On The Outer Continental Shelf--
     Requirements For Exploratory Drilling On The Arctic Outer 
     Continental Shelf, 1082-AA00.
       Medication Assisted Treatment For Opioid Use Disorders, 
     0930-AA22; Department Of Labor Federal Civil Penalties 
     Inflation Adjustment Act Catch-Up Adjustments, 1290-AA31; 
     General Administrative Regulations; Catastrophic Risk 
     Protection Endorsement; Area Risk Protection Insurance 
     Regulations; And The Common Crop Insurance Regulations, Basic 
     Provisions, 0563-AC49; Transition Assistance Program (TAP) 
     For Military Personnel, 0790-AJ17; Operation And 
     Certification Of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, 2120-AJ60; 
     Transit Asset Management; National Transit Database; FTA-
     2014-0020, 2132-AB07; Revision Of Fee Schedules; Fee Recovery 
     For Fiscal Year 2016, 3150-AJ66; Medicare Program; Medicare 
     Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests Payment System, 0938-
     AS33; Jams Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund 
     Reauthorization Act, 1105-AB49; Energy Conservation Program: 
     Energy Conservation Standards For Battery Chargers, Energy 
     Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards For 
     Dehumidifiers, 1904-AC81; Removal Of Mandatory Country Of 
     Origin Labeling Requirements For Beef And Pork Muscle Cuts, 
     Ground Beef, And Ground Pork, 0581-AD29.

  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I would ask that the 
gentlewoman, if there are some, place them in the Record. I don't know 
of any in the 61 that were granted, let's say, after June.
  What I will say is that the reason I will be voting and urging my 
colleagues to vote ``no'' on the motion to recommit is not the 
regulations that she alludes to but, in fact, the fact that this would 
kill the bill by sending it back and having it delayed further.
  So, in order to pass it today, because she did not set it up to 
exclude these items and have them immediately considered, I cannot 
support her motion to recommit.
  What I will say is that when we look at regulations to put into a 
package that may be a package of one or a package, if this passes, of 
more than one, I certainly will expect that those regulations will have 
to do with things which could have been done sooner, would have been 
done sooner, and were done in the waning days of the administration for 
no reason that was time sensitive.
  The Affordable Care Act was passed in the first days of the 
administration. If there is something in the last days of the 
administration that has merit, I certainly would urge my colleagues not

[[Page H86]]

to rescind that regulation. But if there is something that should have 
been done in year one, two, three, four, five, or six, I would ask why 
it wasn't done then.
  Having said that, it is unfortunate that this motion to recommit was 
written in a way that would send it back to committee and, thus, cause 
a substantial delay.
  I would caution my colleagues that, at least from this Member, if you 
have a motion to recommit and you want the amendment itself considered, 
make it one that is immediate and not back to committee. The 
difference, I think, is important. The Parliamentarian simply can 
advise on how to write one that would prevent it having to get, if you 
will, another delay of days or weeks.
  I urge opposition to the motion to recommit.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the previous question is 
ordered on the motion to recommit.
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion to recommit.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the noes appeared to have it.
  Ms. CASTOR of Florida. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

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