Republicans in Congress are cautioning federal agencies and the Obama administration against pushing through new rules, often called “midnight regulations,” in the final two months of President Obama’s term.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wrote a letter to federal agency heads earlier this month cautioning against a last minute rush to push through regulations. But the federal agencies are reportedly ignoring the warning — gearing up to push through many final rules and regulations during Obama’s final weeks. President-elect Donald Trump takes office on Jan. 20.
“Earlier this year, President Obama’s Chief of Staff stated that the Administration will ‘do audacious executive action throughout the course of the rest of the year,'” McCarthy wrote. “As you are aware, such action often involves the exercise of substantial policymaking discretion and could have far-reaching impacts on the American people and economy.”
He warned: “Should you ignore this counsel, please be aware that we will work with our colleagues to ensure that Congress scrutinizes your actions — and, if appropriate, overturns them — pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.”
According to Politico, as of Nov. 15, the White House currently had 98 final regulations pending approval, which could be implemented before Obama leaves office.
Despite the warning from Republicans, many federal agencies are pushing through more regulations before Trump takes office on Jan. 20. According to Politico, these agencies include: Department of Education, Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Trump has vowed to overturn many of Obama’s executive orders and repeal any rules and regulations that burden the economy — specifically jobs and businesses.
Republicans are also able to use the Congressional Review Act to undo some of the regulations. Politico explains that the legislation allows the president and Congress to kill various regulations.
“Come January, Congress can use the law to repeal any rule that an agency finished after this past May 30, using simple-majority votes — and afterward, agencies will be forbidden to enact any regulation that is ‘substantially the same,'” reports Politico.