President-elect Joe Biden will issue a memo effective Inauguration Day that will block actions taken by the outgoing administration that haven’t yet turn into official, the transition team announced Wednesday.
Jen Psaki, incoming White House press secretary, said the move will curb “nighttime” regulations and actions. She cited a Trump Labor Branch plan to make it easier for companies to categorize employees as contractors, who normally don’t get overtime pay or health benefits.
“The memo will potentially freeze this rule and not allow it to be implemented,” Psaki said.
Incoming administrations historically issue a memo freezing new rules which have been announced but not yet published in the Federal Register. By suspending their journal, the new administration can wipe absent such last rules and rewrite or abandon them.
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President Donald Trump’s administration has been rushing to finalize a slew of regulations governing air pollution, energy efficiency and endangered species before Biden is sworn in. Along with the forthcoming Labor Branch rule, the administration is working now to finish new measures governing foreign agricultural workers and a regulation that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from relying on scientific research that isn’t or can’t be made public.
While Biden officials can unwind many Trump rules, doing so will consume time and resources, most often requiring the creation of replacement rules through a formal notice-and-comment process that is designed to move slowly.
The Inauguration Day memo would intent a potentially easier process for rewriting or scrapping late-moving Trump rules. Most often 60 days should pass for major rules to turn into effective after journal in the Federal Register.
The Biden transition team also complained that the Trump administration isn’t doing enough to cooperate with the incoming administration.
“Make no mistake, this lack of cooperation has real world implications, most concerningly as it relates to our national security,” said transition spokesman Yohannes Abraham. “This deliberately generated opacity makes it harder for our government to offer protection to the American people moving forward.”
An Office of Management and Budget official said the office had given all factual information and has taken 45 meetings with the transition team.