Federal Agencies Pushing “Midnight Regulations”


Federal agencies were reportedly flooding the Federal Registry with about 1500 pages worth of rules that they want “pushed” through before President-elect Donald Trump takes over today.

On Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Federal Registry, Miriam Kleiman, told The Hill,  “It certainly is a busy time for the Federal Register. There is a huge increase in the volume [of rules we receive] toward the end of an administration.”

These last minute attempts by the Obama administration to keep the “legacy alive” are known as “Midnight regulations.”

Susan Dudley, a former administrator for Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) who now heads George Washington University’s Regulatory Studies Center, estimates that on an average day,” the Federal Register publishes 300 pages of proposed and final rules, public notices and documents.”

On Thursday, the Federal Register stated it published, “1,464 pages of rules, the second-highest total since the 2016 election and following the 1,465 pages published on Nov. 18, another 1,017 pages of rules were published on Dec. 20th.”

 Susan Dudley has said, “It’s not unusual for the Federal Register to be backed up at the end of an administration.”

In an email to The Hill, Dudley stated that “The [Federal Register] always struggles to publish all the rules agencies want to finish before midnight”.

Trump has called for a freeze on all new regulations, and, in spite of this last-minute attempt to push regulation rules on the new administration, Republicans are expected to try to remove all current and new rules they disagree with, and there are several different ways the new Trump administration can do this.

The easiest way to do remove these new rules is for President-elect Trump to instruct federal agencies not to follow them once he takes office. The other, more effective way, is to have Congress repeal all of the rules he doesn’t deem necessary.

 The Congressional Review Act allows lawmakers to remove regulations they don’t want within 60 legislative days after they are passed. The Republican-led Congress had tried this dozens of times during the Obama administration, but Obama vetoed all of their actions.

H/T: The Hill

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