Federal Agencies, Practice Resources

The Trump Administration’s Final Regulatory Stand

2/2/21 AILA Doc. No. 21020331.

In the final months of the Trump presidency his administration sought to publish as many midnight regulations as possible to preserve its immigration policy legacy. While it published a record number of final regulations in its final months, the Trump administration was not able to finalize them all. This list serves as a companion document to AILA’s Trump Policies That May Be Finalized Before Inauguration Day 2021, to identify what regulations were finalized by Inauguration Day. As the status of these regulations may change due to pending litigation or additional rulemaking, you can stay up to date on these Executive Actions on AILA’s Tracking Notable Executive Action webpage (AILA Doc, No. 20091615).

Rules that were published as final between August 21, 2020,i and Inauguration Day. The following midnight regulations were published as final before the Trump administration left office on January 20, 2021. These rules are in effect unless rescinded through subsequent rulemaking, set-aside by a court, or vacated by Congress through the Congressional Review Act. The effective date of rules that were published before Inauguration Day, but take effect after, could be further delayed by the Biden administration upon additional rulemaking pursuant to the January 20, 2021 White House Memorandum Freezing Regulatory Action (AILA Doc. No. 21012090). Rules subject to this provision are indicated by (***).

Rules that Were Not Finalized by the Trump Administration by Inauguration Day. Although the Trump administration pressed forward with many regulations in its final months, it was unable to finalize a number of rules in time. Pursuant to the January 20, 2021 White House Regulatory Freeze Memoranda, rules that were not finalized were paused until a political appointee has reviewed and approved the rule. Any action that was pending review at the Federal Register on January 20, 2021 was to be withdrawn immediately, as well.

Rules that have been affirmatively withdrawn as per the Regulatory Freeze Memo:

Rules that were not finalized by the Trump Administration, but have not been formally withdrawn by the Biden Administration:

i AILA has limited the list of finalized midnight regulations to those in the Congressional Review Act (CRA) “look back” period. The CRA allows Congress to review "major" rules issued by federal agencies before the rules take effect. Congress may also vacate new rules by a simple majority joint resolution (and are not subject to filibuster) if the rules were issued within the last 60 legislative calendar days of a session. 5 U.S.C. § 802. For 2020, the review period is for rules issued on or after August 21, 2020 and Congress may act within the first 60 legislative days of the new session.

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