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How Would Trump Gut Obama’s Education Policies, Anyway? The Congressional Review Act

There’s been plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump plans to do in office, but perhaps the only certainty is his pledge to undo many policies enacted by the Obama administration. In education, many rules that have been the subject of partisan bickering, like those issued under the Every Student Succeeds Act, could be abolished through a little-used law called the Congressional Review Act.

The law, passed in 1996, allows Congress to block implementation of rules proposed by executive agencies. It also sets an expedited legislative path, mandating a timeline for consideration in what can be a slow-moving Senate and requiring only a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes needed to block a filibuster.

“We do have tools at our disposal to eliminate regulations we think are odious,” David Cleary, a top aide to Senate education committee chairman Lamar Alexander, said Monday at an event held by the Education Writers Association. “The Obama administration is kind of a happy hunting ground of regulations that deserve review by Congress.”