Reince Priebus, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, on January 20, 2017, sent a memorandum to heads of executive departments and agencies, on behalf of President Trump, directing a temporary freeze on new and pending regulations, pending review by the incoming administration.
Subject to exceptions for certain emergencies and other urgent situations (and for regulations subject to statutory or judicial deadlines), the memorandum requests that:
The memorandum applies to “any substantive action by an agency (normally published in the Federal Register) that promulgates or is expected to lead to the promulgation of a final rule or regulation, including notices of inquiry, advance notices of proposed rulemaking, and notices of proposed rulemaking,” and also covers any agency statement of general applicability and future effect “that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue.”
Reince Priebus’s memorandum does not include a special exception for tax regulations.
It is common for a new administration to issue a temporary freeze on some regulations. See, for example, the memorandum issued by Rahm Emanuel (President Obama’s then Chief of Staff) on January 20, 2009, and the memorandum issued by Andrew H. Card (President George W. Bush’s then Chief of Staff) on January 20, 2001.
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