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Secret law may activate FDA e-cig regulations by May 17, 2016

Posted by Matt Rowland on

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee passed a new amendment to the proposed FDA e-cig regulations that is more business-friendly to the vaping industry.  As vape shop owners and e-liquid manufactures sit on pins and needles waiting to see what comes next, most Americans assume that nothing new will occur for several weeks or even months because typically the U.S. government is usually very slow to act.  However, a secret, little known government law called the Congressional Review Act might convince Congress and President Obama to put FDA Amendment HR 2058 into effect as early as May 17.

(Related Article:  Congress Saves Vaping by Passing FDA Amendment)

The Role of the OIRA and the OMB. 

Once the House passed the amendment, the document was sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to begin its internal review process.  The OIRA is part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the largest office within the Executive Branch of the United States which reports directly to the President.  The OIRA can take as long as it wants to come to a decision.  But the Congressional Review Act might cause the agency to move faster.

(Related Article:  7 World Class Doctors Blast FRD E-cig Taxes, U.S. Needs to Support Vaping)

The Congressional Review Act

As U.S. Presidents near the end of their term, they become a “Lame Duck” President.  Nobody in Congress really expects the President to do much in those last months.  But if a President decides to get a little devilish and starts issuing lots of strange Executive Orders that do not require Congressional approval, then the Congressional Review Act gives the next President and Congress the power to revoke those weird regulations almost immediately. 

Of course, no one really wants this to happen.  It makes the outgoing President look foolish and the new President appear power-hungry.  This year, Obama officially becomes a Lame Duck on May 17, 2017, according to the Congressional Review Act.

(Related Article:  DNC Chair Schultz Gets Blasted for Opposing FDA Amendment HR 2058)

FDA E-cig Regulations: The Two Options

With the May 17 deadline quickly approaching, two things could happen.  The President might secretly whisper to the OIRA to stall its review of FDA Amendment HR 2058, otherwise known as the FDA Deeming Regulations.  In doing so, the decision lands on the desk of the next President.  Or the OIRA could speed things along and send the FDA Deeming Regulations over to President Obama to sign into law by May 17.  If this happens, the likelihood that they will be overturned by the next administration is highly unlikely.  For the vaping industry, things could change for the positive in just a couple of short weeks.

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