President Donald J. Trump has been semi-quiet lately since the 2020 presidential election didn't go his way. However, there are approximately 145 rules the White House’s Office of Management and Budget is currently evaluating as a key step in the formal rule-making process for major regulations that have been keeping him busy behind-the-scenes.
These new regulations and other policy changes are being rushed in before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 in an effort to work like "booby traps" for Biden's administration, NBC News reported. For instance, — just three days after the election, the Department of Agriculture sent a proposal to the White House that would allow poultry plants to increase their line speeds. It was a move that the Obama administration had previously rejected for fear of endangering meatpacking workers.
“They’re clearly racing,” said Deborah Berkowitz of the National Employment Law Project, who says that increasing line speeds in poultry plants will create unsafe working conditions. “The Trump administration has decided to appease the poultry industry. And they’re doing it at the last minute, very quickly.”
The secretive policies, or "midnight rule-making" changes, are expected to have a substantial impact on the economy, environment, public health and safety, and state and local governments.
“They’re running up against the clock,” said Nicolas Loris, an economist who focuses on energy and the environment at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “They need to finish under deadline, but also make sure they cross their t’s and dot their i’s, so they can survive any legal challenges.”
According to the NBC News report, the rules under development include policies that the incoming Biden administration would probably oppose, such as new caps on the length of foreign student visas; restrictions on the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of scientific research; limits on the EPA’s consideration of the benefits of regulating air pollutants; and a change that would make it easier for companies to treat workers as independent contractors, rather than employees with more robust wage protections.