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Watching Midnight Regulations
The venerable NGO OMB Watch is focusing on “midnight regulations.” As is customary the end of every Presidency, the Bush Administration is attempting to squeeze out last-minute regulations that have not complied with the “good government” laws and passed normal regulatory review.

The UIGEA rule was the first midnight regulation. It was published in the Federal Register despite: 1) SBA stating that the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve had not complied with the Regulatory Flexibility Act requirements to determine the rule’s impact on small businesses; 2) admission by the agencies that the rule would “constitute a major increase in costs” on the banking industry; 3) a well-reported political scandal involving a semi-former NFL lobbyist turned White House official who played a major role in strong-arming promulgation of the rule; and 4) a Memorandum from the White House Chief of Staff prohibiting midnight regulations in all but extraordinary circumstances.

OMB Watch’s list of midnight regulations includes several controversial environmental, health and safety regulations.

While it is natural that an Administration would using its waning hours to enact the remains of its regulatory program, such expediency cannot come as the cost of regulatory review and compliance with the good government laws that protect the public interest.

See RegWeek “The First Midnight Regulation”

See OMB Watch’s “Watching out for Midnight Regulations”

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