Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021:
Biden administration issues ‘regulatory freeze’ to begin term
President Joe Biden and his administration issued a “regulatory freeze” until the administration has the opportunity to review and approve the rules. A memo issued on the administration’s first day in office by White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain asks federal agencies to not propose or issue any rules before approval.
Additionally, rulemakings that have been sent to the Federal Register but are not yet published must be withdrawn immediately, the memo states.
The regulatory freeze also applies to rules that have been published in the Federal Register but have not yet taken effect. The memo calls for the effective dates to be delayed 60 days “for the purpose of reviewing any questions of fact, law and policy the rules may raise.” The memo also asks agencies to consider reopening a comment period for 30 days.
The Biden administration, at the end of 2020, also announced its plans to stop certain regulations from taking effect, specifically the Department of Labor’s effort to codify the definition of “independent contractor.” A final rule was published Jan. 7 and was set to go into effect on March 8. It's currently unclear which regulations will be halted completely and which will proceed following the new administration's review.
Nomination hearing to be held today for potential DOT head Buttigieg
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will hold a nomination hearing Thursday morning at 10 a.m. Eastern to consider the presidential nomination of Peter Buttigieg to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Biden nominated the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor for the post on Dec. 15.
Buttigieg’s presidential campaign platform a year ago included a proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan funded by tax reforms and the repeal of tax cuts implemented by the Trump Administration, Politico reported at the time.
The nomination hearing will be streamed online Thursday morning here.