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.
I know that it will surprise no one that most, if not all, of these regulations come at the benefit of corporations and to the detriment of the American people and the environment, including making it easier to pollute near national parks, easing mining restrictions, and neutering the Endangered Species Act.
So much for that lame duck quackitude, Bush is going to place his anti-Midas touch on as many areas as he can before he's kicked out the door.