Weekly Columns

The 118th Congress has already provided multiple opportunities to roll back proposed or recently enacted rules, regulations and legislation that is bad for Arkansas and our country.

Republicans in Congress have been leading Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolutions of disapproval to challenge several ill-advised and potentially damaging orders from taking effect. These initiatives provide Congress an expedited mechanism to overturn certain federal agency actions. A joint resolution of disapproval under the CRA is also afforded special privileges that bypass normal Senate rules and allow for a vote on the Senate floor. 

When a CRA resolution is approved by a simple majority in both chambers of Congress and signed by the president—or if Congress successfully overrides a presidential veto—the rule is invalidated.

I’m pleased we’ve already been able to draw bipartisan support for some CRA joint disapproval resolutions in the last month that are headed to the president’s desk.

When the Biden administration issued a rule last November allowing ERISA retirement plan fiduciaries to politicize millions of Americans’ retirement investments by favoring liberal ideological preferences like environmental, social and corporate governance factors, I joined my colleagues on a CRA to halt it. 

Hard-working Arkansans want their money working for them, and focusing on anything else is a distraction. Fortunately, a few Democrats in the House and Senate voted with Republicans to protect millions of Americans’ financial security and send this measure to President Biden’s desk.

His administration has also put forward a burdensome Clean Water Act regulation discarding a commonsense rule that would protect our water systems and sources without eroding the rights of landowners. The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) decree will expand federal regulatory authority over virtually every pond, puddle and ditch nationwide.

A similar framework was advanced during the Obama administration only to be reformed by the Trump White House. Now President Biden wants to revert back to the misguided, far-reaching rule that fails to provide farmers, ranchers and private landowners certainty and predictability.

There is also bipartisan support to strike that down. Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives voted this month on a CRA resolution objecting to it and a similar result is likely in the Senate where a vote is expected soon.

Finally, just a few days ago Congress sent another CRA joint resolution of disapproval to the president, this time dealing with a disastrous crime bill the D.C. City Council passed over objections from the city’s mayor and others. I was proud to sponsor this rebuke of a radical attempt to weaken penalties for certain crimes as the nation’s capital experiences a surge in violence, criminal conduct and public safety concerns – and I wasn’t alone.

Over 30 Democrats each in the House and Senate joined my Republican colleagues and me to stand up and say no to this very bad idea. 

This string of bipartisan agreement and cooperation can continue, even beyond just CRA joint disapproval resolutions, and for the good of Arkansas and our country I’m committed to working in that spirit for the rest of this Congress.