In America, Democrats in Congress are considering using a piece of Clinton-era legislation to overturn any White House policies finalised after the election including the rules to enforce the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Despite the fact that President George W Bush had only 68 days left in office, the US Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board published their final regulations for the implementation of UIGEA last week over protests from politicians and the American financial sector. President Bush is now set to sign the new rules into law on January 19, one day before Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.
However, according to a piece in Washington, DC-based publication Politico, Democrats are considering using the little-known Congressional Review Act (CRA) of 1996 to overturn anything ratified by the White House after November 1. The legislation contains a clause that determines any regulation finalised within 60 legislative days of Congressional adjournment to have been legally passed on the fifteenth legislative day of the new Congress, which would likely be sometime in February. Congress would then have 60 days to review it and reverse it with a joint resolution that could not be filibustered in the Senate. As the Democrats now control both the House of Representatives and the Senate, any regulation finalised in the last half-year of the Bush Administration could be wiped out with a simple party-line vote.
Congress last used the CRA in 2001 to overturn a Clinton Administration ruling that set new requirements for ergonomic workspaces. However, aides to both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were quoted as stating that no decision had yet been made on how to deal with any Bush Administration regulations finalised after the deadline.