Decision Comes a Year After Coalition Lawsuit Challenged Rule That Would Have Eliminated 18k+ Critical Health and Safety Regulations
Washington, D.C. — Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) completely withdrew the Trump-era ‘Sunset Rule,’ which would have set a ticking time bomb on thousands of health and food safety regulations issued by HHS and its sub-agencies. In March of 2021, 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 the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed suit over the rule, which was proposed and finalized in the Trump administration’s lame duck period. Despite the rule’s sweeping effects, it was adopted with scarce opportunity for the public to voice concerns and no attempt to consult with those communities most impacted. It was also illegal and contrary to many HHS statutory obligations.
The suit prompted the Biden administration to stay the effective date of the rule, and in October of 2021 HHS announced its proposal to repeal or withdraw the rule.
In response to the withdrawal of the ‘Sunset Rule’ the Plaintiffs in County of Santa Clara et al. v. HHS and their counsel issued the following joint statement:
“We are pleased at the news that the Biden administration has withdrawn the unlawful ‘Sunset Rule’ in its entirety. The ‘Sunset Rule’ was an ill-considered and sweeping effort to deregulate healthcare and food safety, axe thousands of important public health protections, and tie the Department of Health and Human Services’ hands at the worst possible time – all without going through any of the legal requirements. This is a victory not only for our nation’s public health and healthcare sector but also for the millions of Americans, including more than 36 million children, who would have been hurt by the resulting regulatory chaos, uncertainty, and elimination of key protections.”