Trump Administration Places Freeze on Pending Regulations

Posted on 01/25/2017


The White House issued a memorandum to federal agencies on January 20 ordering them to freeze all new or pending regulations so that the Trump administration has the opportunity to review.

The mandate applies to any regulation that has not been published in the Federal Register or yet taken effect. In the memo, Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff, asked the agencies to do the following:

  • Refrain from sending any new regulations to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) “until a department or agency head appointed or designated by the President” reviews and approves the regulation — with the exception of emergency circumstances as identified by the Office of Management and Budget.
  • In regard to regulations that have been sent to the Federal Register but not published, “immediately withdraw them” and follow the proper Federal Register procedure on withdrawals.
  • For regulations that have been published in the OFR but have not taken effect, “temporarily postpone their effective date” for 60 days.

Among the new regulations affected is the Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule requiring dental offices nationwide to install amalgam separators by 2019. The rule was finalized December 15 but was not published.

The freeze also includes the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records final rule, which the ADA filed comments on in 2016 and was published and expected to take effect on February 17.

The Food and Drug Administration’s final rule banning most powdered gloves is not included in the freeze as that rule was published and went into effect January 18.