May 17, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden's record regulation blitz

The White House has unleashed an unprecedented surge of major new regulations as it races a moving deadline to protect much of President Biden's agenda.

Why it matters: No president has killed more regulations using an obscure law known as the Congressional Review Act than Donald Trump, who likely would target much of Biden's body of work if he wins this fall.

  • The law has been successfully invoked just 20 times since it was passed in 1996.
  • But the first two years of the Trump presidency — which featured GOP control of the House and Senate — account for 80% of its use.

Zoom in: The Congressional Review Act gives Congress a "lookback period" where regulations can be overturned.

  • The deadline for a rule to be safe from congressional review is fuzzy. Estimates range from next Wednesday to early September.
  • Without using the law, rules could take months or years to kill, said Steven Balla, co-director of George Washington University's Regulatory Studies Center.

By the numbers: Federal agencies passed 66 significant rules in April — more than any month since at least the Reagan administration, according to a Regulatory Studies Center analysis.

  • The Biden administration has published 111 more regulations that Trump had at the same point in his term.

Zoom out: Over the past two months, the Biden administration has announced landmark rules that...

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that the record 66 regulations finalized in April were considered significant, not economically significant — a narrower category.

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