Thursday, November 13, 2008

The West Wing

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

There used to be a TV show called "The West Wing." Probably you've seen it. Personally, that hour a week was all that got me through the first six years of the Baby Bush administration.

There was an episode where Jed Bartlett was able to circumvent bad environmental legislation by declaring an area of the country a National Park, using an obscure part of the Federal Code. I can't remember the specifics, and don't have time to watch all the episodes, but if you want to search for the information, here is the episode guide.

I remember watching it and hoping that someday, we would have in reality, a smart Executive Branch that used its powers for good instead of evil, and find some obscure piece of legislation that everyone had forgotten about.

Christmas has come early for me.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the Orders the Bushies were pushing through in the waning days (YEA!!!!!) of their term. Then, that the Obama Administration was studying which ones to rescind first.

Here's where it all comes together: the Congressional Review Act of 1996.
Things can be rescinded but, there's a time limitation, and the Bushies blew it. Josh Bolton had told his folks that everything had to be done by 1 November, to avoid things occurring in the last 60 days of the administration, which would have precluded the ability of the Congress to easily rescind things.


The law contains a clause determining that any regulation finalized within 60 legislative days of congressional adjournment is considered to have been legally finalized on the 15th legislative day of the new Congress, likely sometime in February. Congress then has 60 days to review it and reverse it with a joint resolution that can’t be filibustered in the Senate.
Rumour has it that a lot of these Executive Orders and Agency Regulations can be placed in an Omnibus Act and just plain killed in one fell swoop.