The New York Times reports in Monday's edition that the Democratic Congress will try to nullify a number of late-term regulations imposed by the Bush Administration, including those allowing concealed weapons in national parks and revising the consulation requirements of the Endangered Species Act.
The article quoted Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Or., as being interested in finding a way to overrule the administration because Bush is trying "to put some ideological trophies on the wall.”
Among the other regulations that Congress will try to reverse, according to the article, are recent rules allowing uranium mining near the Grand Canyon and the regulation allowing the dumping of mining debris into streams and rivers.
It is a time-consuming process for a new administration to reverse the regulatory actions of a predecessor and statutes require such changes to be based on an administrative record.
Two methods for securing the reversal of the Bush administration's "midnight" rules, according to the Times, would be attaching an appropriate amendment to the expected economic stimulus bill and invoking the Congressional Review Act of 1996.
The latter involves passing a "resolution of disapproval," which would require the signature of the President to take effect, and can only be used to negate rules within a few months of the date on which they became final.
President-elect Barack Obama will not have the ability to suspend most of the rules issued by Bush cabinet agencies in the last few months because they will have become final by inauguration day, Jan. 20, 2009.