WHITE House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, issued a memorandum Friday night to all executive departments and agencies to freeze new or pending regulations — giving the new administration time to review them.
The action is a fairly standard move for a new administration taking over from the other party. It effectively halts any lingering policies from the Obama administration before they can be finalized.
The move also gives President Donald Trump the ability to declare an immediate impact on the regulations that Republicans have long slammed as burdensome on businesses — a major promise of his administration.
Still, to roll back any number of the regulations that were finalized in the eight years that Barack Obama was president, Trump will need an act of Congress or will need his agencies to begin the regulatory process from scratch.
Federal regulations go through a multi-step process in order to take full effect. The President cannot halt any regulations that have gone into effect already, but lays out steps for any that are not fully in action.
For any regulations that have yet to be sent for publishing in the Federal Register, the memo asks the agency to not send any regulation to the Federal Register until reviewed by someone selected by the President.
For those that have been sent but not published, the White House ordered the regulations withdrawn.
There are regulations have been published but have not reached their effective date. The memo instructs those regulations to be delayed for 60 days for review — with a potential that a new notice for reopening the regulation could occur.
The memo makes an exception for “critical health, safety, financial, or national security matters,” and asks agencies to identify any regulations that can’t be delayed for other reasons.