Twice this week, Congress invoked the Congressional Review Act to overturn regulations made at the end of Obama's term. Explanations on this 1996 law became a powerful tool on the Republican side. In one week, the House of Representatives and the Senate smoothly canceled two texts, thanks to a legislative tool dating back to 1996: the Congressional Review Act.

What is the Congressional Review Act?

The Congressional Review Act (CRA), adopted in 1996 by former Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, has become one of the favorite tools of the Republicans for the last few days.

Overturn the hated regulations of the Obama administration.

This text allows the Senate and House of Representatives to issue a 'joint resolution of disapproval', rather than a bill, to reverse a major rule adopted by the previous administration late, after May 30, 2016, as estimated by the Congressional Research Service ('Congressional Research Service').

The advantage of resolutions? They can not be obstructed in the Senate and require only a simple majority to be passed. Ironically, only the President, Donald Trump, can veto a resolution. Worse, the CRA predicts that federal agencies will no longer be able to issue a new rule in the future that would be 'substantially the same' as the one that was reversed.

In fact, this provision of the Act has never been tested and the vagueness remains in its application.

Has the Act been used in the past?

According to the Congressional Research Service, five joint disapproval resolutions have been rejected since the enactment of the law in 1996, all under President Obama, which vetoed each time.

The Congressional Review Act was only successfully used once in 2001 under George W. Bush to reverse occupational safety regulations adopted at the very end of Bill Clinton's term. Donald Trump, who controls the House of Representatives and the Senate, intends to use and abuse this law.

What regulations could be covered by this legislation?

The Republicans have already had recourse twice to the CRA this week. The first time Wednesday with the cancellation by the House of Representatives of an anti-corruption rule, which forced the oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.