WASHINGTON, March 30, 2021 – Yesterday, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (CA-18) introduced a resolution through the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely or SUNSET rule, a measure finalized the day before President Biden’s inauguration.
This ill-advised and disruptive rule was designed to create havoc in agencies of government by requiring the entire Department of Health and Human Services – including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration – to review all 18,000 existing agency regulations, within several years. If HHS or any of its agencies is unable to complete review within that window, the rule will automatically expire regardless of its importance or the inherent dangers associated with this automatic expiration. Now-Secretary of Health and Human Services Becerra, in his prior role as Attorney General of California, already declared his opposition to the rule for the enormous and unnecessary resource, staff, and financial burden it would place on the country’s health agencies during a pandemic.
The resolution introduced by Congressman Krishnamoorthi and Congresswoman Eshoo would invoke the power of Congress, under the CRA, to overturn last-minute executive branch rulemaking, in order to prevent the SUNSET rule’s potential damage to our public health and consumer protection systems.
“If it’s allowed to come into effect, the Trump Administration’s SUNSET rule would force public health officials to divert time, funding, and attention from the current crisis in order to prevent essential public health protections from unnecessarily expiring,” said Rep. Krishnamoorthi. “Our resolution would prevent this drain on crucial public health resources from ever occurring through preventing the SUNSET rule from coming into effect. As our country approaches the end of the coronavirus pandemic, our public health agencies need to be able to focus on saving lives, instead of repairing the damage of yet another Trump Administration policy which puts them needlessly at risk.”
“Shortly before leaving office, the Trump Administration set up the SUNSET Rule, which effectively sets expiration dates for the HHS regulations that keep American families safe and healthy. The rule needlessly puts thousands of essential public health standards at risk, such as food safety regulations and health care protections,” said Rep. Eshoo. “This malicious rule was a last-ditch effort by the previous administration to repeal thousands of health and safety standards and cause chaos during a deadly pandemic. Our resolution would block this disruptive rule, protecting every American who relies on the safety and quality of the food and drugs they ingest, as well as over 100 million Americans who rely on federal health care programs.”
The CRA contains “procedures (sometimes called “expedited parliamentary procedures”) for both committee consideration and floor consideration of a CRA disapproval resolution in the Senate. The CRA does not contain “fast track” procedures for committee and initial floor consideration of a joint resolution of disapproval in the House. In every case in which the House has considered a CRA disapproval resolution on the floor, it has done so under the terms of a closed special rule reported by the Rules Committee and adopted by the House.