The Biden Administration yesterday placed a 60-day freeze on most regulations recently issued by the previous administration. The freeze applies to proposed regulations published in the Federal Register and could include the proposed SORNA regulations issued on August 13, 2020.
According to a White House memo, the federal government may open a new comment period “to allow interested parties to provide comments about issues of fact, law, and policy” raised by those regulations. The federal government may also consider petitions for reconsideration involving the regulations. The memo also states that the Administration’s 60-day freeze could be extended for an additional period of time.
“ACSOL and its allies will pursue all opportunities to provide comments to the Biden Administration regarding the proposed SORNA regulations,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “The goal of providing comments would be to stop the proposed SORNA regulations from becoming final regulations.”
Following the 60-day freeze, the Biden Administration could approve draft and final regulations that “raise no substantial questions of fact, law or policy.” However, draft and final regulations that do raise one or more substantial questions of fact, law or policy are to be sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.
There are exceptions to the 60-day freeze, according to the memo. The exceptions include regulations for which there are statutory and judicial deadlines as well as regulations that “affect critical health, safety, environmental, financial, or national security measures.”
“Any delay in the finalization of the proposed SORNA regulations is welcome,” stated ACSOL President Chance Oberstein. “In addition, we welcome the opportunity to educate the Biden Administration about the significant harm that could be caused if the proposed SORNA regulations became law.”
Download a PDF of the memo: White House Memo – Biden Admin – Jan 2021
Biden Seeks to Halt or Delay Trump’s ‘Midnight Regulations’ [govexec.com – 1/20/21]