Keeping Track of Overturned Rules Is So Hard to Do

White House press secretary Sean Spicer was proud to announce April 4 that President Donald Trump had signed 12 resolutions to repeal regulations using the Congressional Review Act.

“I mentioned this before, but the number gets higher,” Spicer told reporters at the start of his daily briefing. “The president has signed 12 congressional review acts.”

“In the past, all presidents combined had signed one,” Spicer continued. “So I think we have a vastly different attempt to roll back regulatory reforms that are standing in the way of freedom as well as business development.”

Except that actually, Trump has signed only 11 resolutions. And it’s not the first time Spicer has lost count.


On March 27, Spicer noted to reporters that, “In just his first 66 days as president, he will have signed six resolutions to eliminate unnecessary and burdensome rules.”

Well, that day the president actually signed enough resolutions to bring the total to seven.

There has been significant interest in the use of the CRA by academics and administrative law professionals, in part because of its novelty.

Prior to this president, the only use of the 1996 law was in 2001, when former President George W. Bush repealed a Clinton-era rule on ergonomics.

Staff at the Regulatory Studies Center at the George Washington University have been regularly updating a tracker graphic that shows all the CRA resolutions that have been passed in each chamber and signed by the president.

The House has passed a total of 15 resolutions under the CRA, of which 11 have now been signed by the president.

Of the four resolutions still pending, two have been passed by the Senate.

According to the Senate Republican Policy Committee, based on the current schedule, Congress has until May 9 to overturn regulations issued between June 13, 2016, and Jan. 3, 2017, using the CRA.

And, the window is now closed for introducing new resolutions to overturn these Obama-era regulations; senators had until March 30 to act.