HR 110 IH

108th CONGRESS

1st Session
H. R. 110

To require Congress and the President to fulfill their constitutional duty to take personal responsibility for Federal laws.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 7, 2003

Mr. HAYWORTH introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To require Congress and the President to fulfill their constitutional duty to take personal responsibility for Federal laws.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Congressional Responsibility Act of 2003'.

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to promote compliance with Article I of the United States Constitution, which grants legislative powers solely to Congress. Article I ensures that Federal regulations will not take effect unless passed by a majority of the members of the Senate and House of Representatives and signed by the President, or that the members of the Senate and House of Representatives override the President's veto. This Act ends the practice whereby Congress delegates its responsibility for making laws to unelected, unaccountable officials of the executive branch and requires that regulations proposed by agencies of the executive branch be affirmatively enacted by Congress before they become effective. The Act will result in a more democratic and accountable Congress and protect the public from regulations for which elected, accountable officials are unwilling to take responsibility.

SEC. 3. ENACTMENT OF AGENCY REGULATIONS.

    (a) CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL- A regulation shall not take effect before the date of the enactment of a bill described in section 4(a) comprised solely of the text of the regulation.

    (b) AGENCY REPORT- Whenever an agency promulgates a regulation, the agency shall submit to each House of Congress a report containing the text of the proposed regulation and an explanation of the proposed regulation. The explanation shall consist of the concise general statement of their basis and purpose required by section 553 of title 5, United States Code and such explanatory documents as are mandated by other statutory requirements.

SEC. 4. EXPEDITED CONGRESSIONAL PROCEDURES FOR AGENCY REGULATIONS.

    (a) INTRODUCTION- Not later than 3 legislative days after the date on which an agency submits a report under section 3(b), the Majority Leader of each House of Congress shall introduce (by request) a bill comprised solely of the text of the regulation contained in the report. If such a bill is not introduced in a House of Congress as provided in the preceding sentence, then any Member of that House may introduce such a bill.

    (b) BILL- For purposes of this section, the term `bill' means a bill of the two Houses of Congress, the matter after the enacting clause of which is as follows: `The following agency regulations are hereby approved and shall have the force and effect of law:' (the text of the regulations being set forth after the semicolon).

    (c) REFERRAL AND CONSIDERATION- (1) A bill described in subsection (b) shall not be referred to a committee.

    (2) It is in order for any Member of the respective House to move to proceed to the consideration of the bill. A Member may make the motion only on the day after the calendar day on which the Member announces to the House concerned the Member's intention to make the motion. All points of order against the bill (and against consideration of the bill) are waived. The motion is highly privileged in the House of Representatives and is privileged in the Senate and is not debatable. The motion is not subject to amendment, to a motion to postpone, or to a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to shall not be in order. If a motion to proceed to the consideration of the bill is agreed to, the respective House shall immediately proceed to consideration of the bill without intervening motion, order, or other business, and the bill shall remain the unfinished business of the respective House until disposed of.

    (3) Debate on the bill, and on all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited to not more than one hour, which shall be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the bill. An amendment to the bill is not in order. A motion further to limit debate is in order and not debatable. A motion to postpone, a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the bill is not in order. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the bill is agreed to or disagreed to is not in order.

    (4) Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the regulations of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, to the procedure relating to the bill shall be decided without debate.

    (d) FINAL PASSAGE- A vote on final passage of a bill described in subsection (b) shall be taken in a House of Congress on or before the close of the 60th calendar day after the date of the introduction of the bill in that House.

    (e) EXCEPTION- A motion to suspend the application of subsections (c) and (d) is in order in either House of Congress and shall be considered as passed or agreed to by a vote of a majority of the Members voting. Upon the passage of such a motion, the bill shall be considered in the same manner as other bills.

    (f) TREATMENT IF THE OTHER HOUSE HAS ACTED- (1) If, before the passage by one House of a bill introduced in that House described in subsection (b), that House receives from the other House a bill described in subsection (b) comprised of the same text, then--

      (A) the bill of the other House shall not be referred to a committee and may not be considered in the House receiving it except in the case of final passage as provided in subparagraph (B)(ii); and

      (B) with respect to a bill described in subsection (b) of the House receiving the bill--

        (i) the procedure in that House shall be the same as if no bill had been received from the other House; but

        (ii) the vote on final passage shall be on the bill of the other House.

    (2) Upon disposition of the bill received from the other House, it shall no longer be in order to consider the bill that originated in the receiving House.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act:

      (1) AGENCY- The term `agency' has the meaning given the term in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code.

      (2) REGULATION- The term `regulation' has the meaning given the term `rule' in section 551(4) of title 5, United States Code, except that such term does not include--

        (A) any regulation of particular applicability; or

        (B) any interpretative rule, general statement of policy, or any regulation of agency organization, personnel, procedure, or practice.

SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act shall apply to agency regulations promulgated after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. JUDICIAL REVIEW.

    A regulation contained in a bill enacted pursuant to this Act is not an agency action for the purpose of judicial review under chapter 7 of title 5, United States Code.

END