President Biden Issues Flurry of Orders to Freeze or Reverse Trump Transportation Policies
Washington D.C. – The Biden Administration is wasting no time in issuing a series of executive orders (EO) on a host of transportation-related issues.
Even before Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday, his transition team announced a flurry of EOs ranging from health, climate, economic, and transportation issues.
As expected, President Biden will freeze all Trump Administration rules and regulations still in the rulemaking process or not yet implemented until they undergo a 60-day review.
These are known as “midnight” regulations.
Specifically, some midnight regulations related to transportation include: the Department of Labor’s (DOL) recently issued final rule outlining the definition of an independent contractor, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) proposed pilot programs to study additional Hours of Service (HOS) flexibility such the 6/4 and 5/5 split sleeper berth exceptions, and allowing drivers to pause their on-duty driving period with one off-duty period up to three hours.
Additionally, Biden will freeze the proposed pilot program to study under-21 truck drivers in interstate commerce.
The Biden Administration has also ordered a review of a series of Trump Administration EOs that eased certain regulations regarding vehicle fuel efficiency and carbon emissions standards, as well as encouraged oil and gas exploration and development.
President Biden is also taking an axe to President Trump’s “two-for-one” EO, which Mr. Trump signed in the early days of his administration.
That EO required two regulations to be cut for every one new regulation that was adopted.
“Regulations are an important tool for the federal government to address the crises facing the nation,” the Biden Administration said in announcing the move. “The Trump Administration unnecessarily hamstrung this critical tool by creating arbitrary obstacles to regulatory action.”
It’s another indicator that President Biden’s team will unleash a flood of new regulations much like the Obama Administration did.
During President Obama’s time in office the Federal Register reached an all-time high page count.
Other Notable Issues
Mr. Biden is also expected to issue an interstate mask mandate requiring masks to be worn by all travelers in interstate transportation.
Additionally, he is also requiring masks and physical distancing in all federal buildings, on all federal lands, and by federal employees and contractors.
The new administration also announced actions to immediately stop the construction of America’s southern border wall, which was a signature promise President Trump campaigned on in 2016.
President Biden also reversed travel restrictions imposed by President Trump on citizens from Muslim-majority countries such Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
The travel restrictions, often referred to as the “Trump Travel Ban,” were decried by Democrats as a “Muslim Ban.”
In fact, Democrats fiercely argued the restrictions were unconstitutional and mobilized their base to protest the rules.
However, Democrats and their allies ultimately lost a legal challenge over the issue as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the regulations.
Still, even in President Biden’s announcement of the reversal, he again referred to it as a “Muslim Ban.”
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