White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked agencies under the purview of the executive branch to freeze any pending regulatory actions "in order to ensure that the President's appointees or designees have the opportunity to review any new or pending regulation."
In a Memorandum to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, Chief of Staff Priebus stated that agencies should:
- refrain from sending any regulation to the Office of the Federal Register ("OFR") until a department or agency head appointed by the President reviews and approves the regulation;
- immediately withdraw any regulations that have been sent to the OFR but have not yet been published in the Federal Register; and
- temporarily postpone for 60 days the effective dates of certain comment periods for regulations that have been published but are not yet effective.
The Memorandum stated that regulatory agencies should notify the Office of Management and Budget Director if these regulations are (i) subject to statutory or judicial deadlines, or (ii) should be excluded from such review because they "affect critical health, safety, financial, or national security matters, or for some other reason."
The Memorandum required agencies to provide notice of regulations that "raise substantial questions of law or policy" for further appropriate action. The Memorandum also cautioned that regulatory agencies must continue to comply with all applicable executive orders regarding regulatory management.
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