White House Issues Regulation Deadline


Washington—White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten has issued a memo saying he doesn't want cabinet departments or agencies to issue any new regulations after November 1.

Bolten issued the directive in a May 9 memorandum addressed to “the heads of executive departments and agencies.” It was unclear whether Bolten's memo included “independent” agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission.

Bolten said the purpose of the memo was to remind administration officials to “resist the historical tendency of administrations to increase regulatory activity in their final months.” President Bush is scheduled to leave office in 243 days.

An FCC spokesman, sent a copy of the Bolten memo, did not have an immediate comment. The White House press office did not return a reporter's call to confirm details in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Multichannel News.

Bolten's memo indicated that the Nov. 1 deadline was firm “except in extraordinary circumstances.” He added that regulations intended “to be finalized in this administration should be proposed no later than June 1.”

The Bush administration, Bolten said, has spent the past seven years enacting a principled regulatory program, one that improved Americans' “health, safety and environment” while “respecting their prerogatives to make their own decisions and not imposing unnecessary costs.”

Bolten ended by saying “nothing in this memorandum alters or impedes the ability of the executive departments and agencies to perform their responsibilities under existing law.”