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- Adam J. White - Research Fellow, The Hoover Institution; Contributor to The Weekly Standard
The Federalist Society will host a lunch and discussion on the role of Economic Liberty in the United States on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Today, many job-seeking Americans and companies face significant government barriers that restrict their full participation in the economy. These barriers, often in the form of restrictive regulatory regimes, prevent consumers from using their skills, entering new professions, and starting new businesses. They also prevent low and middle class Americans from moving up the ladder. Competition and free-markets have the power to spur innovation, create new business models, and drive economic opportunity and growth. Policymakers, like Acting Chair of the Federal Trade Commission Maureen Ohlhausen, have begun to take actions to address these barriers. For example, Ms. Ohlhausen recently announced the creation of an Economic Liberty Task Force to advance economic liberty issues, with a particular focus on occupational licensing regulations. These topics and others will be addressed.
Confirmed Speakers Include:
In recent weeks, there has been a flurry of editorials on the proper role of the White House Counsel, driven by criticism of White House Counsel Donald McGahn. After the rollout of President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order, some, like Jack Goldsmith, have written that McGahn should have worked with other agencies before the Order was released to prevent the chaos that ensued.
But what is the proper role of the White House Counsel? Is it to coordinate inter-agency reaction? Should he or she provide legal support to the President first? Or is his or her real client the office of the presidency? Former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray and former Deputy White House Counsel Timothy Flanigan joined us to help answer these questions and many others.
In 1996, Congress passed the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Before an executive agency rule—broadly defined to include agency guidance documents—can take effect, the CRA requires the agency to submit it to Congress and the Government Accountability Office. The CRA provides fast-track procedures for Congress to overrule any rule with a joint resolution of disapproval if the President signs it into law (or Congress overrides any veto). The expedited procedures may be used during the first 60 session days after the rule is submitted and during the first 60 session days of the next session if the rule was submitted near the end of the previous session. The only successful invalidation of a regulation prior to this year was in 2001, when the Department of Labor ergonomics rule issued at the end of the Clinton Administration was voided.
In the last few months, there has been renewed attention to the CRA, with Congress’ action to overrule many more rules. And some have asserted that the law may have much broader implications for rules passed over the past 8 years and not previously sent to Congress as the CRA requires.
Former Congressman David McIntosh, who sponsored the CRA, and former congressional counsel to Mr. McIntosh, Todd Gaziano, will join us to discuss the ins and outs of the CRA and its potential applications in the coming months. This Teleforum is the second installment in our Legal Options for the New Administration series.