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President Trump's team is on a last-minute deregulation spree.
In an attempt to further as many of Republicans' deregulation goals as possible, Trump's team is eclipsing the usual process for changing regulations and pushing them through without public comment or analysis. The rushed processes could have major safety and privacy consequences for millions of Americans, but seems to be a sign Trump is preparing for an election loss, The New York Times reports.
Regulatory changes usually require at least a 60-day public comment period, but Trump's team has shortened that to 30 days. And in some cases, it has even skipped the public comment period entirely by implementing what's known as an interim final rule — something usually reserved for emergencies. Without these public comment periods, regulations can pass without expert analysis and opinions that can root out safety shortcomings and other issues. It's all being done in a likely attempt to get rules quickly finalized before Trump's term ends in January — and before he's potentially forced to leave office.
The Trump administration is looking to loosen restrictions on how long truck drivers can stay behind the wheel, allow the federal government to take biometric data from people applying for citizenship, and let independent contractors work more before they have to be considered employees, among other regulations. The interim final rule has meanwhile been used to further the Labor Department's restriction of H-1B visas for skilled workers. Read more at The New York Times.