The House Democrats are tired of the president and the Republican leadership trying to rush through last-minute aka “midnight regulations” in a lame-duck administration. In an attempt to prevent these regulations, they introduced a new bill Tuesday.
Donald Trump has been plowing through the Congress, throwing all sorts of “regulation changes” at them. Ironic, given that this president has undertaken a massive deregulation effort.
Four members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee introduced the bill to limit a lame-duck president’s powers. A number of commentators have said that this is Trump’s attempt to hinder the new Biden presidency as the new man in town hurries to clean up 45’s messes.
A summary of the bill in a recent The Governor Executive read:
‘Outgoing administrations often saddle incoming administrations with last-minute regulations that did not undergo thorough review and analysis or failed to collect and heed stakeholder input. If a midnight rule is finalized, a new administration is forced to work through the time-consuming rulemaking process to change or repeal the rule, potentially diverting critical resources at a substantial cost.’
The Republican Oversight Committee spokesperson told Government Executive there had been a 2017 version of the proposed bill:
‘[This] is a half-hearted attempt to curb midnight rules. [A 2017 Republican version] had actual teeth in it to prevent government overreach. When Republicans tried to enable Congress to more quickly and easily disapprove of overreaching midnight rules.’
‘Democrats actively opposed it This bill reflects the fact Democrats just want to continue launching partisan attacks against President Trump rather than find solutions. President Trump has come through on his promises to drain the swamp, cut red tape and help the American people.’
The representative who introduced the bill were from Government Operations Subcommittee Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Committee Chair Representative Carolyn Maloney D-NY), Economic and Oversight Reform and Consumer Policy Subcommittee Chair Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), and Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee chair Jackie Speier (D-CA).
They released a statement for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Tuesday. It read:
‘The recent actions of the Trump administration have shown us firsthand how outgoing administrations can take advantage of midnight rulemaking for partisan, political gain. Presidential transitions demand rigorous oversight, and midnight rulemaking is no exception.’
Administrator of the Office of Regulatory and Information Affairs during President Obama’s first term, Cass Sunstein, wrote in Bloomberg Monday had a suggestion. He said that the incoming president should be more subtle when talking about the sitting president’s “midnight” regulations as they relate to cost-benefit analysis:
‘Some of the last-minute regulations are genuinely terrible, such as new restrictions on granting asylum to people threatened with gang or gender violence. But others are more complicated, in the sense that they are likely to produce disparate reactions among Biden’s supporters — and potentially reveal significant fissures among progressives.’
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