On January 24, President Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus published a memorandum directing all executive branch agencies to withdraw all new rules and guidances that were awaiting publication in the Federal Register. The memorandum states that before these items can be published, they are to be reviewed by a government official appointed or designated by the new president unless they are exempt from this review due to “urgent circumstances relating to health, safety, financial, or national security matters.” Such an exemption can only be given by the director or acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

For all final rules that have not yet gone into effect, agencies have been instructed to delay the effective date for 60 days while those rules are reviewed for “questions of fact, law, or policy.” It is unclear how this review will be conducted or who will conduct it. Any rule that raises no questions can be implemented by the agency. However, for rules that do raise questions, the memorandum provides that “agencies should notify the OMB Director and take further appropriate action in consultation with the OMB Director.”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s final rule establishing smoke-free public housing was to take effect on February 3, 2017. HUD has yet to delay this effective date, but because the rule has been published but has not yet taken effect, it seems to be subject to the mandate in this memorandum. The Food and Drug Administration’s deeming rule took effect on August 8, 2016 and is therefore not affected.

Link to the memorandum: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-01-24/pdf/2017-01766.pdf


Our materials on the HUD rule making all U.S. public housing smoke-free can be found here.

Our materials on the FDA deeming rule can be found here.


January 27, 2017