NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Clinton's Departure Swelled The Federal Register To "War And Peace" Proportions

January 24, 2001

Racing to beat his noon, January 20 deadline, President Clinton and his appointees issued so many rules and regulations that Monday's Federal Register assumed gigantic proportions. Once a final rule is printed in the Federal Register, it assumes the force of law and makes it more difficult for an in-coming president to overturn.

  • Monday's edition comprised a whopping 944 pages in two volumes.
  • It took three nights to print and bind -- and the printing crews were put on overtime to finish it.
  • Those rules were preceded by three other double-volume editions last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday -- which added up to 2,568 pages.
  • Many of the regulations published on Monday are still in the proposal stage, so they will be subject to a 60-day delay the new Bush administration imposed on Saturday.

But the final rules -- which will be difficult to undo -- include eight new national monuments that prohibit development on various lands.

Other Clinton administration rules arrived Friday and were scheduled for publication later this week. But the Bush administration moved quickly, instructing federal agencies to write to the Federal Register to stop publication.

Source: Cindy Skrzycki, "'Midnight Regulations' Swell Register," Washington Post, January 23, 2001.


Browse more articles on Government Issues