[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House]
[Chapter 14. Congressional Disapproval Actions]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

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                              HOUSE PRACTICE

  Sec. 1. In General
  Sec. 2. Constitutionality
  Sec. 3. Consideration in the House
        Research References
          U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 7
          Manual Sec. Sec. 1130-1130(30)

  Sec. 1 . In General

      Congress has enacted numerous laws reserving to itself a right of 
  review by approval or disapproval of certain actions of the executive 
  branch or of independent agencies. These laws, known as 
  ``congressional disapproval'' statutes, take various forms, often 
  including expedited procedures. For example, the Alaska Natural Gas 
  Transportation Act of 1976 permits the privileged consideration of 
  joint resolutions approving Presidential decisions on the Alaska 
  natural gas transportation system when those resolutions are reported 
  from committee or are discharged after 30 days. 15 USC Sec. Sec. 719f, 
  719g; Manual Sec. 1130(18); 95-1, Nov. 1, 1977, p 36347. Another 
  statute sets forth a similar procedure for congressional approval or 
  disapproval of certain actions by the District of Columbia Council. 
  District of Columbia Home Rule Act, Sec. Sec. 602(c), 604; Manual 
  Sec. 1130(5). The House Rules and Manual carries a compilation of 
  current texts of congressional disapproval provisions that include 
  expedited procedures. Manual Sec. 1130

  Sec. 2 . Constitutionality

      Federal court decisions indicate that congressional action to 
  approve or disapprove an executive branch determination should be 
  undertaken by way of a bill or joint resolution and not by way of a 
  simple or concurrent resolution or through committee action. In 1983, 
  the Supreme Court declared in Immigration and Naturalization Service 
  v. Chadha (462 U.S. 919 (1983)) that a statute permitting the 
  disapproval of a decision of the Attorney General by simple resolution 
  of one House only was unconstitutional. The Court said the device 
  violated the doctrine of separation of powers, the principle of 
  bicameralism, and the clause of the Constitution requiring that 
  legislation passed by both Chambers must be presented to the President 
  for his signa

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  ture or veto. In an earlier decision, the Court of Appeals had 
  specifically held a one-house legislative veto provision in the 
  Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (15 USC Sec. 3341(b)) to be 
  unconstitutional. In its decision, the circuit court for the District 
  of Columbia said that the primary basis for its holding was that the 
  one-house veto violates article I, section 7 of the Constitution both 
  by preventing the President from exercising his veto power and by 
  permitting legislative action by only one House of Congress. The 
  circuit court also found the one-house veto to contravene the 
  separation of powers principle implicit in articles I, II, and III 
  because it authorizes the legislature to share powers properly 
  exercised by the other two branches of government. The court declared 
  that article I, section 7 sets forth the fundamental prerequisites to 
  the enactment of Federal laws--bicameral passage of legislation and 
  presentation for approval or disapproval by the President, and held 
  that congressional disapproval of final agency rules must comply with 
  these requirements. The court added that Congress may choose to use a 
  resolution of disapproval as a means of expediting action, but only if 
  it acts by both Houses and presents the resolution to the President. 
  Consumer Energy Council of America, et al. v. FERC, 673 F.2d 425 (D.C. 
  Cir. 1982), Affd, 463 U.S. 1216 (1983).
      In the light of these decisions, Congress has amended several 
  statutes to convert procedures involving simple or concurrent 
  resolutions of approval or disapproval to procedures requiring joint 
  resolutions to be presented to the President for his signature or 
  returned for a possible veto override, consistent with the 
  ``presentment'' clause of article I, section 7. Manual Sec. 1130.

  Sec. 3 . Consideration in the House

      Many ``congressional disapproval'' statutes prescribe special 
  procedures for the House to follow when reviewing executive branch 
  actions. For a compilation of the relevant provisions of such 
  statutes, see Manual Sec. 1130. These procedures technically are rules 
  of the House, enacted expressly or implicitly as an exercise of the 
  House's rule-making authority. At the beginning of each Congress, it 
  is customary for the House to reincorporate by reference in the 
  resolution adopting its rules such ``congressional disapproval'' 
  procedures as may exist in current law. Nevertheless, because the 
  House retains the constitutional right to change its rules at any 
  time, the Committee on Rules may report a resolution varying such 
  procedures. Manual Sec. 1130.
      Where a law enacted as a rule of both Houses provides special 
  procedures during consideration of a joint resolution approving a 
  Presidential determination, and the House then adopts a special order 
  providing for consid

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  eration of such a joint resolution in the House, the Speaker will 
  nevertheless interpret the special statutory provisions to apply if 
  consistent with the special order. 97-1, Dec. 10, 1981, p 30486.