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Bush to Block Some Clinton Orders

January 20, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) _ As one of his first acts after taking office, President-elect Bush will issue an order that would effectively block a series of outgoing President Clinton’s executive orders and last-minute rules, Republican officials said Saturday.

Clinton was leaving office with a flurry of 11th hour decisions, many of which have drawn sharp criticism from Republicans.

Bush will impose a moratorium that would for the time being block any new rules from being printed in the Federal Register. That would essentially block the most recent of Clinton’s executive orders, since most rules can’t take effect until they’ve appeared in the Federal Register for a certain period of time.

Among those that would be affected: new environmental restrictions that the Clinton administration announced earlier this week on runoff from animal feeding operations and a set of new guidelines for managed care programs under Medicare.

Older regulations would not be covered, but are actively under review by the incoming Bush administration. Many may be rescinded, Bush transition officials said.

The freeze would not affect presidential pardons.

The moratorium on regulations was expected to be announced by incoming White House chief of staff Andrew Card, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Bush was also to issue executive orders on Saturday outlining ethics guidelines for his administration and declaring a national day of prayer, the officials said.

Imposing a freeze on rules has been used in the past by other incoming presidents.

Then-President Ronald Reagan used a similar technique in 1981 to block scores of last-minute executive orders by his predecessor, Democrat Jimmy Carter.

And when he took office in 1993, Clinton moved quickly to block several orders that Bush’s father, George Bush, had put in place in the closing days of his administration.

One would have required federal contractors to inform nonunion employees of their rights to have any dues withheld from their paychecks refunded. The younger Bush may issue a new executive order reimposing that blocked order of his father’s, the GOP officials said.

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