arack Obama is set to become America’s 44th President in six days and the fact that the Democrat Party controls both chambers of Congress could make the Bush Administration’s late handiwork much easier to undo.
Following the Republicans defeat in November’s elections, President Bush issued a series of regulations allowing concealed weapons in some national parks and forbidding medical facilities that get Federal money from discriminating against doctors and nurses who refuse, on religious grounds, to assist with abortions. Commonly known as ‘midnight’ regulations, their enactment by Presidential signature often allows an outgoing Administration to tie a successor’s hands for years.
“Congress is going to have to roll up its sleeves and review these midnight regulations because it’s clear that they are part of a desire for the Administration, as it heads out the door, to put some ideological trophies on the wall,” Oregon Senator Ron Wyden told The New York Times.
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, and Harry Reid, Senate majority leader, both stated that they shared their colleagues’ desire to overturn some of the regulations but were waiting for guidance from the Obama Administration before adopting a specific strategy.
Gregory Craig, incoming White House Counsel for the Obama Administration, revealed in a statement that his team were in the process of reviewing “these new regulations that are being issued during the final days” of the Bush administration and “will take appropriate steps to address any concerns in a timely manner.”