President Donald Trump issued a presidential memorandum Friday ordering federal departments and agencies to freeze all regulations — new and pending — until his administration has had a chance to review them.
The action is standard for any incoming presidential administration seeking to reverse or review the policies of the previous administration. President Barack Obama in 2009 issued a similar memorandum to halt any new and pending regulations that were announced under President George W. Bush.
Barring matters of health, safety, financial or national security, the presidential memorandum directed the heads of all federal departments and agencies to halt any new or pending regulations until someone appointed by Trump can review and approve them. For regulations that have already been published in the Federal Register but that have not yet taken effect, the memorandum postpones the effective date by 60 days from Jan. 21, the day the memorandum was issued.
Because the memorandum was widely anticipated, Obama officials rammed through a series of new regulations between Election Day and the inauguration, hopeful that perhaps some of their last-minute actions would slip by the Trump transition team and still take effect.