Speed Reads

Biden White House

On Jan. 20, Biden to issue memo freezing Trump administration's midnight regulations

At noon ET on Jan. 20, after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated, he will issue a memo to stop or postpone midnight regulations and actions taken by the Trump administration that have not gone into effect by Inauguration Day, Biden transition spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday.

Midnight regulations are created by executive branch agencies during the lame duck period of an outgoing president's administration. Psaki shared some examples, including a rule the Department of Labor is expected to publish that "would make it easier for companies to call their workers independent contractors to avoid minimum wage and overtime protections."

Issuing a regulatory freeze is standard practice for incoming administrations, Psaki said, "but this freeze will apply not only to regulations but also guidance documents — documents that can have enormous consequences on the lives of the American people." Biden has already said he will take several executive actions on his first day in office, including rejoining both the World Health Organization and the Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change.