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  • 标题:A Cost-Benefit Interpretation of the "Substantially Similar" Hurdle in the Congressional Review Act: Can OSHA Ever Utter the E-Word (Ergonomics) Again?
  • 作者:Finkel, Adam M. ; Sullivan, Jason W.
  • 期刊名称:Administrative Law Review
  • 出版年度:2011
  • 卷号:63
  • 期号:4
  • 页码:707
  • 出版社:American University Washington College of Law
  • 摘要:Congress has always had the power to overturn a specific regulation promulgated by an executive branch agency and, as the author of the underlying statutes under which the agencies regulate, has also always been able to amend those statutes so as to thwart entire lines of regulatory activity before they begin. But in 1996, Congress carved out for itself a shortcut path to regulatory oversight with the passage of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), and can now veto a regulation by passing a joint resolution rather than by passing a law. There is no question that Congress can now kill a regulation with relative ease, although it has only exercised that ability once in the fifteen years since the passage of the CRA. It remains ambiguous, however, whether Congress can use this new mechanism to, in effect, do to a regulation what the Russian nobles reputedly did to Rasputin—poison it, shoot it, stab it, and throw its weighted body into a river—that is, to veto not only the instant rule it objects to, but forever bar an agency from regulating in that area. From the point of view of the agency, the question is, “What kind of phoenix, if any, is allowed to rise from the ashes of a dead regulation?” This subject has, in our view, been surrounded by mystery and misinterpretations, and is the area we hope to clarify via this Article. A coherent and correct interpretation of the key clause in the CRA, which bars an agency from issuing a new rule that is “substantially the same” as one vetoed under the CRA, matters most generally as a verdict on the precise demarcation of the relative power of Congress and the Executive. It matters broadly for the administrative state, as all agencies puzzle out what danger they court by issuing a rule that Congress might veto (can they and their affected constituents be worse off for having awakened the sleeping giant than had they issued no rule at all?). And it matters most specifically for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), whose new Assistant Secretary is almost certainly concerned whether any attempt by the agency to regulate musculoskeletal disorders (“ergonomic” hazards) in any fashion would run afoul of the “substantially the same” prohibition in the CRA. The prohibition is a crucial component of the CRA, as without it the CRA is merely a reassertion of
  • 关键词:OSHA; administrative law; Congress
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