That's one of the questions addressed by the Wall Street Journal in an article headlined Financial Regulators Scramble to Complete Postcrisis Rules. (behind paywall). Excerpt:
“This type of ’midnight rulemaking’ is neither conducive to sound policy nor consistent with principles of democratic accountability,” Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told SEC Chairman Mary Jo White at a Nov. 15 hearing.
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Regulators deny they are rushing to finish initiatives ahead of the transfer of power and say they are merely working through their normal process to finish rules that were targeted for completion this year.
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After rules are published, it can be time-consuming for future administrations to try to unravel them. They have to follow the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires an extensive public-comment process, and changes may be subject to legal challenge. Republican lawmakers are now talking about dusting off the little-used Congressional Review Act, which would allow them to try to uproot any regulation completed after May 2016 if they can get a majority vote in each chamber on the question before mid-2017.
At the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, the agency’s director, has instructed staff to continue moving ahead with rulemaking at its current rapid pace,according to people familiar with the situation. That means the CFPB will try to complete its major pending rules, particularly the proposal to restrict arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts.
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[T]he CFPB may run out of time to complete rules designed to rein in the high interest, small-dollar payday lenders that cater to about 12 million Americans.