New administration puts hold on federal rule making

WASHINGTON – White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday issued a memo to federal agencies placing a “hold” on aspects of federal rulemaking until the Obama administration can review them.

Reports said that the key points of the memo include:

1) No proposed or final rules are to be sent to the Federal Register until they have been reviewed and approved by an agency or department head appointed or designated by President Obama (there are certain exceptions for Defense Department matters).

2) Proposed or final rules at the Federal Register are to be withdrawn until they can be approved or reviewed as described above.

3) The memorandum directs agencies and departments to consider extending for 60 days the effective date of regulations that have been published but have not yet taken effect “for purposes of reviewing questions of law and policy raised by those regulations.” If that extension is provided, the memorandum directs the agency/department to reopen the comment period for 30 days.

4) These directions do not apply to regulations subject to statutory or judicial deadlines.

To read the memorandum itself, go to


Source: American Meat Institute

Vilsack confirmed as Ag secretary

WASHINGTON – The United States Senate on Tuesday confirmed Tom Vilsack as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

Vilsack was one of five cabinet appointees confirmed with unanimous votes after President Barrack Obama was sworn in.

Vilsack will reportedly begin working with Congress to renew the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) child nutrition programs and deciding whether to tighten USDA's eligibility rules for farm subsidies.

Obama has reportedly backed a $250,000-a-year "hard" cap on crop subsidies to help family-owned farms and closing loopholes that allegedly allow large corporate farms to avoid payment limits.


Source: Reuters