Today, Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) joined President Donald Trump at the White House for the signing of H.J.Res.38 - Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule (SPR). Congress utilized the Congressional Review Act to pass the joint resolution on February 2, 2017. The joint resolution nullifies the SPR, which included new additional job-killing, unpopular, and costly regulations for the coal mining and coal mining related industries.
The SPR was finalized by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement on December 19, 2016.
Griffith, an original co-sponsor of the joint resolution to block SPR, had promised to utilize every resource possible to prevent the rule from taking effect.
As Griffith said on December 19, 2016, “I will continue to fight this rule with every tool available, including, but not limited to, filing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution. This rule is so unpopular that there will probably be many in Congress who will wish to lead this CRA resolution and I will either join with other Members to file a resolution or I will file it myself.”
Today, Griffith said, “I was excited to attend the signing of H.J. Res. 38 and support the President as he begins to bring relief to the coal mining industry. This rule would have had devastating effects on Southwest Virginia and I am glad my efforts to prevent these new regulations, along with my fellow Congressmen, paid off. I am proud to represent Southwest Virginia, particularly today, as President Trump signs the resolution.”
According to the National Mining Association, as many as 78,000 coal mining jobs would have been lost if SPR was implemented, on top of thousands of jobs already lost during the Obama Administration. If jobs in fields related to coal mining are included, up to 281,000 people could have been put out of work, with an estimated 190,000 lost jobs in the Appalachian region alone.
The Congressional Review Act is a law that allows Congress to overturn rules issued by federal agencies. Once a rule is finalized, Congress has a limited period of time to pass a joint resolution of disapproval preventing it from taking effect. The CRA was last utilized successfully in 2001, when President George W. Bush signed a joint resolution of disapproval overturning a regulation finalized in the last days of the Clinton Administration.