Can Obama Reverse Bush’s Midnight Rules?
Whether it’s relaxing pollution-control standards for power plants or allowing loaded weapons into national parks, the Bush administration is scrambling to approve or change as many federal rules as it can before it hands off power to President-elect Barack Obama. This surge of “midnight regulations” presents a thorny question for the next administration: What can it do to void rules it thinks should be undone?
An Obama spokesman told ProPublica that the transition team can’t comment on the new administration’s strategy yet. However, John Podesta, a leading member of the transition team, has said Obama will use his “executive authority without waiting for congressional action” to reverse many of Bush’s policies.
But that authority has its limits.
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