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May 15, 2017

Congressional Review Act Is a Towering GOP Success

Now it’s time to turn these wins into legislative victories, beginning with health care.

Legislatively, in the span covering Donald Trump’s first-quarter-plus, the Republican Congress has left a lot to be desired. However, there has been some disassembling of Barack Obama’s agenda thanks to the Congressional Review Act, which the GOP utilized to near-maximum effect. Keep in mind, the CRA basically never worked heretofore (the only victory in its 21-year history occurred in 2001). But Republicans, beginning in January and continuing through last week’s deadline, managed to raze an impressive 14 of Barack Obama’s unconstitutional regulations. This underscores both the GOP’s resolve and the breadth of Obama’s executive malfeasance.

Sen. Jim Inhofe responded, “I am almost speechless when I think about the success.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell concurred: “In just a few short months, we have turned a significant corner from how things operated under the Obama administration. Instead of going around Congress to push through regulations, the president is working with us to ease the burden.” For his part, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer condescendingly concluded, “The fact that they are bragging about these highlights how little else they have accomplished legislatively.” Of course, we’d expect nothing else from a man whose party still can’t come to terms with the fact it lost the 2016 election. Bigly.

Republicans do deserve some critique for failing on one issue. The 14 regulatory rollbacks could have been 15 had a few renegades not abandoned ship. The GOP left in tact an unnecessary methane rule, which the Associated Press says “would have forced energy companies to capture more of the methane that’s burned off or ‘flared’ at drilling sites.” But the fault falls squarely on the usual suspects — Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins — all three of whom opted to join Democrats in upholding the rule. While disappointing, it shouldn’t overshadow the overall monumental success of the CRA. Now it’s time to turn these wins into legislative victories, beginning with health care.

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