The Trump Administration’s ‘Parting Gifts’

President Trump exits the Oval Office as he departs on campaign travel in Washington, D.C., October 1, 2020. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
A rush of rulemaking took ‘midnight regulations’ to a new level, just in time for the Biden administration’s arrival.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE E ach time a new party wins the White House, the administrative state changes gears. Democratic presidents try to undo everything Republicans accomplished, and vice versa. And since Congress has delegated vast swaths of policymaking to the executive branch — environmental regulations, labor rules, etc. — these changes can be immensely consequential.

A somewhat amusing side effect of this process is the tradition of “midnight regulations”: In a frantic rush between an election and a new administration from the other party, the old president and his minions rush to finalize everything they possibly can, cutting whatever corners need to be cut. This


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