skip to main content

H.R. 21 (115th): Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 5, 2017 (Referred to Senate Committee). The bill was not enacted into law.

Summary of this bill

President Obama’s administration issued a record number of regulations during the lame duck sessionafter the election. Known as “midnight rules,” these actions drew the ire of Republicans who considered them liberal executive overreach during the end of a presidency whose party had just been voted out of office. A bill passed by the House could make it much easier for Congress to overturn these regulations.

###What the bill does

The Midnight Rules Relief Act, H.R. 21 and S. 34, would allow Congress to overturn any presidential or executive branch regulation finalized within the final 60 days of an administration. In practice, of course, this for the time being …



1st Session

H. R. 21


January 5, 2017

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs


To amend chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, to provide for en bloc consideration in resolutions of disapproval for midnight rules, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2017.


En bloc consideration of resolutions of disapproval pertaining to midnight rules


In general

Section 801(d) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:


In applying section 802 to rules described under paragraph (1), a joint resolution of disapproval may contain one or more such rules if the report under subsection (a)(1)(A) for each such rule was submitted during the final year of a President’s term.



Text of resolving clause

Section 802(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended—


by inserting after resolving clause of which is the following: (except as otherwise provided in this subsection); and


by adding at the end the following: In the case of a joint resolution under section 801(d)(4), the matter after the resolving clause of such resolution shall be as follows: That Congress disapproves the following rules: the rule submitted by the __ relating to __; and the rule submitted by the __ relating to __. Such rules shall have no force or effect. (The blank spaces being appropriately filled in and additional clauses describing additional rules to be included as necessary).

Passed the House of Representatives January 4, 2017.

Karen L. Haas,