One of Barack Obama's final acts as president will make Donald Trump furious

One of Barack Obama's final acts as president will make Donald Trump furious
Picture: Jewel Samad and Zach Gibson/Getty

Donald Trump’s presidency will not officially commence until 20 January.

This appears to have emboldened the dying Obama administration into pushing through a number of executive actions in an effort to cement their legacy.

According to Politico, Barack Obama has submitted some 98 final regulations for review on a number of key issues – commodities speculation, education, air pollution and bolstering Obamacare.

Republican congressional leaders criticised the president’s move, and a letter sent to agency heads a fortnight ago was scathing:

We write to caution you against finalising pending rules or regulations in the Administrations last days…should you ignore this counsel, please be aware that we will work with our colleagues to ensure that Congress scrutinises your actions – and, if appropriate, overturns them.

Why will Trump be so angry?

Many of Obama's proposed regulations would be in direct opposition to Trump's plans.

The President-elect expressed his intentions to repeal the Obamacare act completely, and his selection of Myron Ebell - a "climate contrarian" who opposes the Clean Power Plan - as the leader of the Environmental Protectioin Agency transition provides some idea as to his intentions with environment legislation.

Obama and his team want to update the 'Stream Potection Rule' designed to prevent water pollution from coal mining. However, Trump remains adamant that he will withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Treaty, along with legislation that regulates oil, gas and coal production.

According to The Washington Post, repealing Federal Regulations is a lengthy process. Trump will have to jump through a number of regulatory loops in order to roll back any legislation Obama manages to pass over the next six weeks.

Repealing Obama-era rules would require writing – and legally justifying – new regulations, a process that could take nearly two years and might not withstand legal scrutiny.

Despite the fact that many news organisations are reporting Obama's regulations as 'last minute', a report by the Public Citizen - a non-profit advocacy group - argues that regulations during the presidential transition period are actually scrutinised more thoroughly, and given more attention.

This implies that Obama isn’t rushing anything.

In fact, Obama's timing may be perfect

After 20 January, Trump can use the Congressional Review Act to repeal Obama’s regulation, and prevent similar legislation from being introduced in future.

But the process itself will likely be arduous, and for a new president, the last thing he needs is to be tied up in the affairs of the previous administration.

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