Midnight Rulemaking


OMB Watch sez:

Saturday’s New York Times has an article about the White House’s new policy setting deadlines for any regulations agencies intend to finalize during the Bush administration. The policy, outlined in a memo sent by Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, says, "Except in extraordinary circumstances, regulations to be finalized in this Administration should be proposed no later than June 1, 2008, and final regulations should be issued no later than November 1, 2008."

Bolten issued the memo under the guise of reversing "the historical tendency of administrations to increase regulatory activity in their final months" — commonly known as midnight regulations. In reality, the memo may simply change when the clock strikes midnight in order to insulate potentially controversial rules from disapproval by a new administration.

Read OMB Watch’s analysis.