>> From the environment to taxes, Republicans in congress are counting on an obscure but powerful law to help them roll back a long list of President Obama's regulations when he exits the White House. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where Republicans hope early next year to strike down up to 150 regulations and they're betting they won't have to go through the usual song and dance to do it.
Thanks to something called the Congressional Review Act. That's 1996 law that nobody's has ever heard of that gives the Congress the power with just a simple majority vote to strike down new regulations. That means when Donald Trump takes office on January 20th Republicans will be in a position to undo pretty much everything the Obama administration has put into place since last June.
Potentially on a chopping block, expanded overtime pay, methane gas restrictions and a rule making it harder for multi-national firms to avoid taxes. Also at risk, funding for Planned Parenthood, pay sick leave and federal contractors and new pollution controls for airplanes. Another big target, a check on Wall Street requiring investment advisors to act in the best interests of their clients, known as the fiduciary rule.
The law allows Congress to overturn these rules with just a simple majority vote, not a super majority. That means Democrats in the Senate won't be able to block action on their own, as they still can do with most other legislation. Once Congress invokes this law to strike down a regulation, the government can't write a new rule in its place unless they have explicit permission.
So this is potentially a very powerful tool for Republicans to undo much of Obama's agenda. But the clock is ticking they only have 60 legislative days to act after that, their chance is gone. Look for Republicans to move quickly on this once they return to Washington in January.