President-elect Joe Biden announced Wednesday that his incoming administration will quickly move to stop or postpone the rush of regulatory rollbacks being hastily enacted during the final weeks of Donald Trump’s only term in office.
“The Biden-Harris White House will issue a memo to take effect afternoon Eastern Time on January 20 that will halt, or delay, midnight regulations,” transition spokesperson Jen Psaki said at a press conference, referring to the last-minute flurry of federal rulemaking common with lame-duck administrations. Psaki said that while it is normal for incoming administrations to block their predecessors’ midnight regulations, “this freeze will apply not only to regulations but also guidance documents, which can have enormous consequences on the lives of the American people.”As an example, Psaki named a Labor Department rule that would make it easier for employers to classify their workers as independent contractors and not employees in order to avoid paying them the minimum wage or providing legally mandated benefits.
“If it takes effect, that rule will make it easier to misclassify employees as independent contractors, costing workers more than $3.7 billion annually,” said Psaki. “The Biden memo would potentially freeze this rule and not allow it to be implemented.”
In its final days, the Trump administration is unleashing dozens of harmful policy changes affecting immigration, climate change and the environment, labor and agriculture, health care, and more. Check out the running list by @propublica. https://t.co/LInDONLbf3
— National Immigrant Justice Center (@NIJC) December 28, 2020
The Trump administration has been ramming through rollbacks of rules and regulations, which critics say could adversely affect millions of Americans, the environment, and the ability of the Biden administration to carry out its agenda. Many of Trump’s late rollbacks take aim at environmental regulations, and he has overseen the reversal or weakening of over 100 regulations affecting everything from bomb trains to biometrics.