WH Chief of Staff Puts a Halt to Trump's 'Midnight Regulations'

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Posted: Jan 20, 2021 7:05 PM
WH Chief of Staff Puts a Halt to Trump's 'Midnight Regulations'

Source: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Hours before leaving office, President Donald Trump signed a number of executive orders, including issuing more than 140 pardons and clemencies; halting deportations for illegal aliens from Venezuela for 18 months; and declassifying documents from Crossfire Hurricane. One of the first directives to come from White House Chief of Staff Robert Klain is to put a halt to those executive actions.

"The President has asked me to communicate to each of you his plan for managing the Federal regulatory process at the outset of his Administration," Klain wrote in a memo to agency heads. "In order to ensure that the President’s appointees or designees have the opportunity to review any new or pending rules, at the direction of the President, I ask that you immediately take the following steps."

According to the Biden-Harris transition team, Klain's order will "pause any new regulations from moving forward and give the incoming administration an opportunity to review any regulations that the Trump administration tried to finalize in its last days."

Agency heads or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will have 60 days to evaluate the Trump administration's executive orders, as long as they are not currently published in the Federal Register. Agency heads are expected to pull those executive orders that have not been published in the Federal Register so they can be reviewed. Those orders that have been published but are not yet in effect will be pulled and reevaluated over the course of 60 days. 

The news comes after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki warned that the Biden administration would halt Trump's "midnight regulations."

“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 January 20 that will halt or delay midnight regulations, actions taken by the Trump administration that will not have taken effect by Inauguration Day,” Psaki said a few weeks ago.

According to the press secretary, it's standard practice for an incoming administration to halt regulations and policies from the previous administration.