April 23, 2020
Potential Coronavirus Implications for the Congressional Review Act
The Congressional Review Act (CRA) provides Congress with an expedited procedure to overturn a previous administration’s regulations, but only ones that were made within a certain time, and the start of that window is typically in the spring of a presidential election year. The coronavirus pandemic could affect the beginning of this year’s window, writes AAF’s Senior Regulatory Policy Analyst Dan Goldbeck, implicating a number of rules that otherwise would likely be safe from repeal. Goldbeck explains how the CRA “look-back” window is calculated and assesses two scenarios for how the CRA deadline could shift.
The attention of Congress and the nation are justifiably focused on the current coronavirus crisis. While projecting the window for the CRA may seem relatively trivial, regulations with billions of dollars in economic impact do potentially hang in the balance under it. Even in normal times, it can be difficult to precisely divine the exact window for the CRA’s potential “look-back” period. In these extraordinary times, the range of outcomes become even more varied and unpredictable.