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H.R. 39 (116th): Federal Sunset Act of 2019

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About the bill

What if a federal agency automatically ended unless Congress voted to save it?


Politicians of both parties have issued grandiose calls to abolish federal agencies, from President Trump’s call to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to some Democrats’ calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Yet while some federal agencies have seen budgets cuts or staff reductions, virtually none ever actually seem to get abolished.

Some have proposed flipping the equation around. Instead of every federal agency automatically continuing unless Congress voted to abolish it, what if every federal agency were scheduled for demise unless Congress voted to rescue it?

What the bill does

The Federal Sunset Act would create a bipartisan commission to set an expiration date for every federal agency, which would take effect ...

Sponsor and status

Richard Hudson

Sponsor. Representative for North Carolina's 8th congressional district. Republican.

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Last Updated: Jan 3, 2019
Length: 20 pages
Jan 3, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on January 3, 2019, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.



Jan 3, 2019

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

H.R. 39 (116th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 39. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 39 — 116th Congress: Federal Sunset Act of 2019.” 2019. June 18, 2021 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.