• Ryan Lipton

Trump pushing controversial lame-duck policies to ensure Biden inherits mess


President Donald Trump is doing all he can to pass controversial lame-duck policies to guarantee President-elect Joe Biden inherits the worst situation imaginable when he is sworn into office at the end of January.


As of Thanksgiving day, 37 controversial policies have either been passed or are in the process of being implemented. ProPublica has a list of every single policy, a description of the policies on the table, and how far the policies are from being officially implemented.


ProPublica has broken up the policies into four categories: Rule finalized, White House reviewing final rule, proposed rule and White House reviewing proposal.


Rule Finalized (12)

  • Allowing Federal Death Row Inmates to Be Executed by Means Other Than Lethal Injection (Criminal Justice)

  • Allowing the Forest Service to Bypass Some Environmental Reviews (Environment)

  • Excluding Environmental and Social Impact in Choosing Pension Plan Investments (Finance)

  • Pegging Drug Prices to an International Index (Health Care)

  • Ending Medicare Drug Rebates (Health Care)

  • Requiring Some Visitors to the U.S. to Post Bond So They Leave When Their Visas Expire (Immigration)

  • Narrowing Eligibility for High-Skilled Work Visas by Tightening Educational Requirements (Immigration)

  • Lowering Wages for Immigrant Farmworkers (Immigration)

  • Restricting High-Skilled Immigrant Work Visas by Raising Wage Minimums for Visa Holders (Immigration)

  • Voiding Washington State's Meal and Rest Break Rules for Truck Drivers (Labor)

  • Restricting the Use of Agency Guidance (Other)

  • Reallocating Airwaves From Intelligent Transportation to General Wi-Fi (Other)

White House Reviewing Final Rule (11)

  • Maintaining Existing Air Pollution Standards for Particulate Matter (Environment)

  • Excluding Scientific Studies From Environmental Policy-making (Environment)

  • Loosening Efficiency Standards for Clothes Washers and Dryers (Environment)

  • Loosening Efficiency Standards for Showerheads (Environment)

  • Removing Penalties for Accidentally Killing Birds (Environment)

  • Excluding Secondary Environmental and Health Benefits From Evaluating Regulations on Air Pollution (Environment)

  • Narrowing Eligibility for Food Stamps (Food and Agriculture)

  • Radically Narrowing the Grounds for Asylum Eligibility (Immigration)

  • Preventing Judges From Using Discretion to Close Immigration Cases (Immigration)

  • Allowing Religious Exemptions for Federal Contractors (Labor)

  • Bolstering the Position of Faith-Based Organizations in Justice Department Grant-making (Other)

Proposed Rule (12)

  • Loosening Restrictions on Overfishing (Environment)

  • Loosening Permits to Develop Near Waterways and Wetlands (Environment)

  • Endangered and Threatened Species: Regulations for Designating Critical Habitat (Environment)

  • Preventing Banks From Withholding Credit on the Basis of Social, Political or Environmental Considerations (Finance)

  • Imposing Tariffs on Vietnam on the Basis of Its "Undervalued" Currency (Finance)

  • Requiring Regular Review of Health Care Regulations (Health Care)

  • Allowing Federally Subsidized Homeless Shelters to Exclude Transgender People (Housing)

  • Making It Harder for Asylum-Seekers to Compile Their Applications — and Easier for Judges to Cherry-Pick Evidence (Immigration)

  • Barring Work Permits for Immigrants With Deportation Orders (Immigration)

  • Under-21 Driver Pilot Program (Labor)

  • Split-Duty Pilot Program (Labor)

  • Broadening the Definition of Independent Contractor (Labor)

White House Reviewing Proposal (2)

  • Increasing the Speed at Which Chickens May Be Slaughtered (Food and Agriculture)

  • Making Families of Noncitizen Immigrants Ineligible for Subsidized Housing (Immigration)


For a more detailed look into the policies, visit ProPublica's website to see a description of each individual policy and what it would do.


Trump has recently left the Open Skies Treaty which allows the United States, Russia and 32 other nations to do supervised aerial photography of another nation's territory. Joe Biden, on the other hand, has supported the treaty as it has widespread support from European allies.


“Instead of tearing up treaties that make us and our allies more secure, President Trump … should remain in the Open Skies Treaty and work with allies to confront and resolve problems regarding Russia’s compliance,” Biden said in a statement in May via the Omaha World Herald.


Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has also moved $455 billion of unspent stimulus money into a fund that Biden can't touch without the approval of Congress, according to Business Insider.


"This is Treasury's latest ham-handed effort to undermine the Biden Administration," Baharat Ramaurti, a Democratic member of a congressional panel overseeing the funds, wrote on Twitter. "The good news is that it's illegal and can be reversed next year."

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About Ryan Lipton:


Ryan is a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Business Journalism. He has written in the past for SB Nation's Silver and Black Pride, USA Today Sports Media Group, North Carolina Business News Wire, the Daily Tar Heel, and has worked with Ice Cube's BIG3 basketball league.


For more of Ryan Lipton's articles click here.



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