Number:  112-6
Date:  December 12, 2011

House Passes H.R. 10
The Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011

On December 7, 2011, the House passed H.R. 10, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011, by a vote of 241-184. H.R. 10 is the third of three bills approved by the House in recent days that would revise the Federal rulemaking process. (See Legislative Bulletins 112-5 on H.R. 3010 and 112-4 on H.R. 527). H.R. 10 would require Congress to approve certain agency regulations before they can take effect. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

H.R. 10 contains the following provisions of interest to SSA:

  • Would require Federal agencies promulgating rules to submit to Congress and the Comptroller General a report including: A copy of, and general statement regarding, the rule; a classification of the rule as a major or nonmajor rule; a cost-benefit analysis; a list of other regulatory actions implementing the same statute and their economic effects; and, the proposed effective date.

  • Would define "major rules" as those: Having an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; causing a major increase in costs or prices; or, having significant adverse effects on competition, employment or productivity. "Nonmajor rules" would be defined as any rules that are not major rules.

  • Would require the Comptroller General to provide an assessment, for all major rules, of agency compliance with regulatory procedures. Would require Federal agencies to provide to the Comptroller General information relevant to this assessment.

  • Would prevent a major rule from taking effect unless Congress enacts a joint resolution of its approval within 70 days1 of the rule's submission.

    • Approved rules would be effective upon enactment of the joint resolution or the date specified in the rule, whichever is later.

    • If Congress takes no action within the 70-day timeframe, it could not enact a joint resolution of approval later in the same congressional session.

    • Rules submitted to Congress during the timeframe beginning 60 days before the end of the session through the first day of the following session would be considered during the succeeding session of Congress.

    • Would allow major rules deemed necessary by the President for reasons of health, safety, or national security to take effect for one 90-calendar day period while under consideration by Congress.

  • Would prevent a nonmajor rule from taking effect if Congress enacts a joint resolution of its disapproval within 60 days of the rule's submission.

  • Would exempt determinations, findings, actions, and omissions under these procedures from judicial review, except for determinations by a court whether agencies complied with these regulatory procedures.

  • Would be effective upon enactment.


1 Unless specified as a calendar day, number of days refers to a "legislative day" in the House and a "session day" in the Senate.