The Bush White House has approved 61 new regulations in a last minute attempt to pay political debts and help out political buddies. Some of the rules benefit key industries that have long supported the administration, such as oil and gas companies and banks. One thing is certain: the regulations approved in November will do little to benefit ordinary citizens. In fact, many of them are designed to hurt consumers and damage the environment.
The Bush Administration’s rush to approve and publish so many of these regulations in the Federal Register will make it difficult for the new Administration to undo the damage done. November 21st was an important political deadline for the Bush White House to ensure the new regulations become effective before the inauguration on January 20th. Once the new rules take the form of law, Democrats can undo them only by utilizing three complicated means:
• through new regulatory rulemaking that would probably take years;
• through Congressional amendments to underlying laws; or
• through special, fast-track resolutions of disapproval approved by the House and Senate within a few months after the start of the new Congressional session on January 6th.
Hopefully, Democrats in Congress will use the regulatory reversal power in consultation with the new President in order to protect the American people. The leadership must review oversight tools regarding the last-minute attempts to inflict severe damage to the law in the waning moments of the Bush Administration. This sort of thing can’t be tolerated.
Source: Washington Post
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