(ROLL CALL) Republican lawmakers are bracing for a slew of last-minute rules and regulations, as well as more executive actions to place swaths of land under federal protection, during President Barack Obama's final months in office.
“Midnight regulations” are a feature of any lame-duck administration and represent a president's last opportunity to lock in rules on legacy issues. In many instances, GOP members acknowledge they are powerless to stop him.
Obama first served notice that he'd take such a tack in January 2014, when he vowed to use the legal authorities of the office of the president to act when Congress would not — or could not — do so. “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need,” he said then. “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone."
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