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®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

The First Midnight Regulation
A rule that would "constitute a major increase in costs" for banks is set to become the Bush Administration’s first Midnight Regulation. Despite the financial crisis and the fact that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) regulation violates numerous "good government" laws and the Administration’s own Midnight Regulation ban, the rule has been sent to the Federal Register. Moreover, the UIGEA rule is being promulgated despite allegations of serious improprieties by Administration officials.

The SBA’s Office of Advocacy has formally called for a revised small business impact analysis, a request that was rejected. The rule has also not complied with the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Executive Order 12866's requirements for "economically significant" regulatory actions. Also ignored is the White House’s Bolten memo prohibiting Midnight Regulation in all but exceptional circumstances.

The Washington Post reports that a recent NFL lobbyist "who now works at the White House is playing a controversial role in the Bush administration's last-minute effort to implement a ban on many forms of Internet gambling before the end of the president's term...." The article quotes industry officials who state that "the NFL's real motivation is to block any competition for lucrative ‘fantasy football’ gambling via the Internet, which was explicitly exempted from the 2006 ban." The House is seeking additional information on the White House’s role in bypassing regulatory review processes.

  • Click here to read Washington Post article

  • Click here to read Bolten Anti-Midnight Regulation Memo