HHS Proposes to Withdraw or Repeal Trump-Era ‘Sunset Rule’

Decision Comes Months After Coalition Lawsuit Challenged the Rule Which Would Have Eliminated 18k+ Critical Health and Safety Regulations

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This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed to repeal or withdraw the Trump-era Sunset Rule. The Sunset Rule, which was proposed and finalized in that administration’s lame duck period, would have set a ticking time bomb on thousands of health and food safety regulations issued by HHS and its sub-agencies. HHS is now accepting comments on the withdrawal proposal through December 28.

In March, the County of Santa Clara, the California Tribal Families Coalition (CTFC), the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), the American Lung Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) filed suit over the unlawful Sunset Rule, prompting the Biden administration to respond and issue a one-year stay of the effective date of the rule.

In response to HHS’ proposal, the Plaintiffs in County of Santa Clara et al. v. HHS issued the following joint statement:

“We are glad to see the Biden administration is taking the next necessary step to fully repeal the Sunset Rule. Not only was the rule ill-conceived, impractical, and unlawful, but also, if left in place, it would have jeopardized health and safety regulations affecting everything from healthcare and vaccination programs to baby formula and drug safety. We will continue to follow this rulemaking closely to ensure that the Sunset Rule is gone for good.”

“Proposed the day after Trump lost the election, and finalized on that administration’s last day, the Sunset Rule is better understood as a bad faith act of regulatory sabotage than as a serious reform measure,” added CSPI president Dr. Peter G. Lurie. “Of course, had the rule been implemented, the consequences for public health and the safety of our food supply could have been very serious. We are grateful to Democracy Forward and our fellow co-plaintiffs for holding the government accountable.”

 

Contact Info: 

Emily Singer, Democracy Forward, 973-865-0063 or Jeff Cronin, CSPI, 202-777-8370