Federal agencies

House committee asks DOL for info on possible ‘midnight rules’

Thomas Perez

Photo: Department of Labor

Washington – In a move to address so-called “midnight rules,” Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee have sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez requesting a list of regulations and other guidance the Department of Labor intends to release by the end of President Barack Obama’s second and final term.

The letter, sent Sept. 20, cites a Congressional Research Service report that points to “weaknesses attributed to midnight rulemaking.” The letter further states that an “outgoing administration has less political accountability,” and that rules may be poorly reviewed and analyzed so they can be rushed through the rulemaking process.

It goes on to say that “burrowing in” – when employees in a federally appointed position are moved to a career role in the executive branch – can occur, which can lead to less “merit-based, competitive hiring and promotion.” The committee is asking Perez to provide information on positions that have been or may be created.

“For more than seven years, the administration’s regulatory onslaught has hurt students, families, and workers,” Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said in a press release. “The American people have had enough. That’s why we are working to hold the administration accountable for its actions and demand the transparency that the public deserves.”

The letter asks Perez to respond by Oct. 4.

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