On January 11, 2017, the United States House of Representatives (“House”) passed the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, which would, among other things, end the Chevron doctrine of requiring judicial deference toward administrative agencies with respect to the interpretation of statutes that the agency is charged with administering.
In the United States Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Chevron U.S.A. v. NRDC, the Court upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act, and established what is now widely known as the “Chevron Two-Step” test. Under the doctrine, a reviewing federal court will first ask if the intent of Congress with respect to the statute at issue is clear. If it is, then the reviewing court must give effect to Congress’ intent. However, if the reviewing court determines that Congress has not directly addressed the precise question at issue, the court must defer to the agency’s interpretation of the statute so long as that interpretation is reasonable.
The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 passed the House by a vote of 238-183.
A copy of the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 is available here.