House Dems seek to overturn Trump-era rule that could gut FDA’s regulations
Democratic Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL) and Anna Eshoo (CA) on Monday introduced a resolution that would begin the process of overturning the Trump administration’s last-minute attempt to tear down more than 95% of the FDA’s regulations.
“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,” said Eshoo in a statement. “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 resolution of disapproval is the first step in using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to nix the Trump rule that would’ve caused the FDA to divert resources from the pandemic to review more than 95% of its regulations within five years or else watch as they expire. But in order for the rule to be halted with the CRA, the resolution still must be introduced and passed by the Senate and signed by President Biden.
“We’re already in talks with leadership and are seeking a Senate lead,” Will Baldwin, communications director for Krishnamoorthi, told Endpoints News. “Because of the nature of the CRA, the resolution wouldn’t open to filibustering.”
The Congressional push to overturn the rule follows the Biden administration’s decision to delay when the rule would take effect, as well as the filing of a recent lawsuit by the Center for Science in the Public Interest and several other plaintiffs to stop the rule.
“If Congress uses the Congressional Review Act to rescind the SUNSET rule, the rescission would happen more quickly than waiting for the rule to be vacated by the courts or than if HHS were to go through the notice-and-comment rulemaking process to rescind the rule,” Erin Fuse Brown, director of the Center for Law, Health & Society at Georgia State University College of Law told Endpoints News. “Beyond efficiency, another benefit of using the CRA to rescind the Sunset Rule is certainty. If HHS stays the rule and waits for a court to invalidate it, there’s a chance the court could go the other way or the decision could be reversed on appeal. Undoing the Sunset Rule would be a terrific and appropriate use of the Congressional Review Act.”
HHS also noted in its announcement of the one-year delay that the court may find merit in the lawsuit, which called the rule a “ticking timebomb,” because the allegations of harm are credible.