President Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, issued a memo Friday night telling federal agencies to not issue any more regulations.
Hours after his boss was sworn into office, Priebus told the agencies not to send any regulation to the Federal Register until the rule is reviewed and approved by the new president's appointed agency head.
Any rule that’s already been sent to the Office of the Federal Register but not yet published must be withdrawn, the order says. For rules that were published in the last 60 days, Priebus told agencies to publish a notice to delay the effective date of the rule for at least another 60 days.
The memo is careful to exclude any rule that's in response to an emergency situation or other urgent circumstances relating to health, safety, financial or national security matters.
If the rule raises any substantial questions of law or policy after it’s delay, however, Priebus told the agencies to notify the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and take further appropriate action in consultation with the OMB director.
The order from Priebus is not uncommon.
When President Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, he too had his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, send a letter to the federal agencies telling them to refrain from sending any new or proposed rules to the Federal Register.
The agencies were also told then to withdraw any rulemakings that had not yet been published and consider extending by 60 days the effective date of those rules that had already been published.