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Politics

GOP Mostly Powerless in Stopping Obama ‘Midnight’ Regulations

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Republican lawmakers are bracing for a slew of last-minute rules and regulations, as well as more executive actions to place swaths of land under federal protection, during President Barack Obama’s final months in office.

“Midnight regulations” are a feature of any lame-duck administration and represent a president’s last opportunity to lock in rules on legacy issues. In many instances, GOP members acknowledge they are powerless to stop him.

Obama first served notice that he’d take such a tack in January 2014, when he vowed to use the legal authorities of the office of the president to act when Congress would not — or could not — do so. “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need,” he said then. “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.”

White House aides in recent weeks have made it clear that Obama will continue to use his legal authorities on whatever he deems important to wrap up before he leaves the Oval Office on Jan. 20. Major regulatory changes require a 60-day waiting period, meaning Obama theoretically has until late November to tend to his to-do list. – READ MORE

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