Tracking the Trump Administration’s “Midnight Regulations”

The administration rushed to implement dozens of policy changes in its final days. We followed some of the most consequential and controversial.

by Isaac Arnsdorf, Lydia DePillis, Dara Lind, Lisa Song, Moiz Syed, Zipporah Osei, ProPublica, November 25, 2020. Updated February 8, 2021.

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Dozens of rules pushed through in the final weeks of the administration of President Donald Trump will lengthen an already-long to-do list for President Joe Biden if he wants to unwind his predecessor's legacy. It’s common for outgoing administrations to rush through last-minute rules, but these “midnight regulations” can sometimes shortchange public input or thorough analysis, and they may tie the hands of the incoming president. ProPublica tracked the most controversial and consequential regulations.

The Biden administration stepped in to stop some rules that hadn’t already taken effect. Others face challenges in court. In addition, Congress has the option of repealing any rules finalized since mid-August through the Congressional Review Act. For any effective rules that don’t get blocked by courts or Congress, the agencies will have to go through a full rule-making process to undo them.

    Correction, December 1, 2020: This page originally misstated a stance on a rule about showerheads. Plumbing manufacturers oppose it.
    Update, Jan. 6, 2021: This article was updated to note that the Biden transition team has said it will freeze pending rules.
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