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Proposed Rule Issued to Revoke 2020 Regulatory Actions

On October 27, 2021, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its component agencies submitted a proposed rule to repeal and withdraw the SUNSET final rule that was promulgated on the final day of the Trump Administration.

The SUNSET (“Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely) final rule would have expired all HHS regulations, with some exceptions on the later of (1) 2026 (i.e., 5 calendar years after the rule becomes effective) (2) 10 calendar years after the regulation was promulgated, or (3) 10 calendar years after the latest HHS review of the rule. And so, thereafter, every HHS rule would have to be reviewed every 10 years and either amended, rescinded, or expired.

In its proposed rule, HHS noted that there was staunch opposition to the final rule, that it was presented to Office of Management and Budget before the end of the comment period, and that there is currently a federal lawsuit seeking to invalidate the final rule brought by Santa Clara County, California (among others), claiming that the rule’s process violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Additionally, HHS has indicated that the review process already takes place for rules and that the process put into place by the SUNSET rule would be financially and time burdensome on the agency in a way that does not match the proposed benefits of the rule.

Read the complete proposed rule here.