The Congressional Review Act (CRA) lets Congress and the White House strike down regulatory protections using expedited procedures. So far, President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have used the CRA to repeal 15 health, safety, consumer and environmental protections as payback to their corporate donors — and we won’t be able to get these safeguards back any time soon. As a result, corporate predators, polluters and profiteers that would have been reined in by these rules are now free to abuse, exploit and discriminate against regular Americans, knowing they won’t be held accountable.
Although the CRA no longer can be used to repeal Obama-era rules, it still may be used to strike down regulations finalized during the current administration: safeguards issued by agencies that are trying to protect the public despite opposition from the White House. On Nov. 1, the White House signed a resolution repealing an important consumer protection against big banks: the arbitration rule. Looking ahead, we anticipate a CRA threat against the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recently finalized payday lending rule.