Oct 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The rush to loosen regulations in case Trump loses re-election bid

 two freight trains parked in Florence, North Carolina

A new rule to allow freight trains to to move highly flammable liquefied natural gas have led to warnings of public safety threats, the NYT reports. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

President Trump's cabinet is rushing to "enact regulatory changes affecting millions" in case he loses his re-election bid, the N.Y. Times' Eric Lipton reports.

Driving the news: "In the bid to lock in new rules before Jan. 20, Mr. Trump’s team is limiting or sidestepping requirements for public comment on some of the changes and swatting aside critics who say the administration has failed to carry out sufficiently rigorous analysis," Lipton writes.

  • Some examples include: "easing limits on how many hours some truckers can spend behind the wheel, giving the government more freedom to collect biometric data and setting federal standards for when workers can be classified as independent contractors rather than employees."
  • This has led to warnings of public safety threats. Some changes may also be "vulnerable to court challenges," Lipton notes.

Worth nothing: "Every administration pushes to complete as much of its agenda as possible when a president’s term is coming to an end, seeking not just to secure its own legacy but also to tie the hands of any successor who tries to undo its work," Lipton notes.

  • "But as Mr. Trump completes four years marked by an extensive deregulatory push, the administration’s accelerated effort to put a further stamp on federal rules is drawing questions even from some former top officials who served under Republican presidents."

Read the full article: A Regulatory Rush by Federal Agencies to Secure Trump’s Legacy (subscription)

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