Every time the presidency has changed parties in recent years, the outgoing president has issued regulations in the final months of his presidency implementing policies at odds with the policies of the incoming president. The critics of these regulations invariably deride them as “midnight regulations” that have been rushed through the regulatory process. Propublica is monitoring the Bush midnight regulations, here. Then the incoming president sets out to stop or undo many of them by issuing a regulatory “stop order” to the agencies and departments. Stopping a regulation from taking effect is much less resource intensive than undoing one, so every recent president stop order, including President Obama’s, has contained a request that no agency or department send any regulations for publication in the Federal Register until they have been reviewed by a political appointee of the new president, and that they withdraw any regulations that the Office of the Federal Register has received but not published. For regulations that have been published, the Obama memorandum – which was issued by his chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, on January 20 – asks that agencies review those that have not yet gone into effect and consider extending their effective date for sixty days if they raise significant issues of law or policy, to provide time to reconsider them. But what about regulations that have gone into effect? Under the Administrative Procedure Act as well as the enabling legislation of many agencies, revising an existing rule requires the same lengthy process that issuing it required in the first place, which can mean months and even years – unless the President gets a little help from his friends in Congress. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘administration’
Executive Watch is a blog from the Duke University School of Law’s Program in Public Law. It is dedicated to monitoring, analyzing and providing a forum for discussion of questions of presidential power. Executive Watch will go live Monday, February 9, 2009.