Just How Destructive Will Bush's Last-Minute Deregulations Be?

Election '08

As the media focuses on President-elect Obama and the transition of power here in Washington, the Bush administration is quietly trying to push through a wide array of federal regulations before President Bush leaves office in January.


Up to ninety proposed regulations could be finalized by the outgoing administration, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment. According to the Washington Post, the new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era. They include rules that could weaken workplace safety protections, allow local police to spy in the so-called “war on terror” and make it easier for federal agencies to ignore the Endangered Species Act.

While it’s nothing new for outgoing administrations to try and enact these so-called “midnight regulations,” the Bush administration has accelerated the process to ensure the changes it wants will be finalized by November 22nd. That’s sixty days before the next administration takes control. Most federal rules go into effect sixty days after they’ve been finalized, and it would be a major bureaucratic undertaking for the Obama administration to reverse federal rules already in effect.

We speak to Matthew Madia of the watchdog group OMB Watch.

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