2021 Regulatory Year in Review

Ten Important Regulatory and Deregulatory Developments
January 19, 2022

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Covid-19 Related Regulations (GW Box)

This Regulatory Insight recaps ten important developments related to federal regulations that occurred in 2021. With the continued spread of COVID-19, regulatory responses to the pandemic are still an important theme throughout 2021, including several controversial vaccination requirements. The other themes reflect the Biden administration’s efforts to halt or undo Trump-era regulations during its initial year.

President Biden issued several notable executive orders reflecting new regulatory priorities and reversing Trump’s regulatory agenda. The Biden administration and its allies in Congress repealed many Trump-era rules, through the Congressional Review Act (CRA) or notice-and-comment rulemaking. Those cover changes to immigration policies, actions for facilitating access to medical treatment, regulations implementing the Fair Housing Act, and regulatory activities addressing environmental policy. Nevertheless, these changes were predominantly made using existing regulatory authorities, rather than stemming from new congressional legislation. In some instances, the courts are involved in adjudicating whether agencies have pursued revisions in a legitimate manner.

   1. Regulations related to the COVID-19 Pandemic
   2. Modernizing Regulatory Review
   3. CRA Disapprovals and Reversals of Trump's Executive Orders

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