The Congress has just passed a measure that will roll back the guidance of auto loans which the Consumer Financial Bureau issues. This vote comes as a first test to the new strategy that has been made by the Republicans in the Congress. This can potentially initiate the repealing of passed administrative regulations which come by the hundreds.
There’s been a guidance that has been issued way back 2013 which was supposed to limit the practices that promote discrimination in businesses that offer auto loans for people with challenged credit. The Congress was able to repeal the guidance using the Congressional Review Act – a law that is less known but allows the congress to undo some rules that has been released by government regulators and agencies.
In 2017, Congressional Republicans were able to use the act in repealing Obama-issued regulations and in the previous years, the Congressional Review Act has only been used once since it has been passed in 1996.
Typically, the act enables the Congress to use its power but just in a narrow window of time of 60 days after a new regulation or law gets submitted to them.
But the vote made on Tuesday is the first time that the act was able to reverse an administrative guidance or the concerned agency’s own interpretation of federal laws. There are guidance that are not submitted to Congress which causes lawmakers to argue whether they can start the clock when they want to on rules that has been issued in the past 20 years.
There are critics who are worried that this can open a door for the repealing or rolling back of many hard-fought regulations and protections concerning consumers and the environment. The act is also capable of preventing federal agencies from passing guidance and regulations that are ‘substantially similar’ which means that it will take future congressional action just to reinstate similar rules and regulations.