Biden aims to freeze Trump’s ‘midnight regulations’

President-elect Joe Biden will issue a memo on Inauguration Day seeking to halt or delay so-called midnight regulations issued by President Trump in the final days of his administration.

Biden spokesperson Jen Psaki said the memo would take effect on Jan. 20 and would put a stop to any agency rules or guidance issued by the Trump administration that have not taken effect by Inauguration Day.

“The Biden administration will take swift and bold action across the federal government to roll back harmful Trump administration policies as quickly as possible on Jan. 20 and start tackling the crises the nation is facing,” Psaki said. “We’re announcing today, that like other incoming administrations have done before, the Biden-Harris White House will issue a memo to take effect on the afternoon eastern time on Jan. 20 that will halt or delay midnight regulations, actions taken by the Trump administration that will not have taken effect by inauguration day.”

There is a battle over late rules and regulatory changes every time there is a change of power at the White House. 

In 2016, House Republicans passed a bill that would grant them sweeping authority to nullify any rules and guidance implemented in the final 60 days of the Obama administration. 

Psaki on Wednesday cited a proposed Department of Labor rule that would make it easier for companies to deem their workers as independent contractors rather than full-time employees, as an example of a rule they’d seek to freeze. Critics of the rule say it makes it easier for companies to misclassify their employees in order to deprive them of overtime pay or benefits.

“Issuing a regulatory freeze is standard practice for an incoming administration, but this freeze will apply not only to regulations but also guidance documents that can have enormous consequences on the lives of the American people,” Psaki said. 

Biden has also said he intends to implement several executive orders on his first day in office, with a focus on climate change.

The incoming president intends to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords and reverse Trump’s “environmental rollbacks that have made our air and water dirtier,” Psaki said.

Tags Donald Trump Jen Psaki Joe Biden

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