Protections for cleaner air and water, habitats for endangered birds, workplace protections for truckers—those were just a few of the federal regulations eroded in the twilight of the Trump administration.
For the first months of 2021, Democrats in Congress had the power, theirs alone, to realize those goals by repealing a flurry of rules enacted in the twilight of the Trump administration. But largely, they haven’t. With time running out, they’re not especially worried about it.
Under the Congressional Review Act, a complex and controversial Clinton-era law, the legislative branch has the authority to reject proposed executive branch rules within a given timeframe. When the new Democratic-controlled Congress met on Jan. 3, the clock began ticking—60 legislative days—on their ability to nix Trump administration policies issued in the final days of his presidency.