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President Barack Obama's new administration ordered all federal agencies and departments on Tuesday to stop any pending regulations until they can be reviewed by incoming staff, halting last-minute Bush orders in their tracks.
Controversial late rules by the outgoing Bush administration include allowing the carrying of concealed weapons in some national parks and prohibiting medical facilities from receiving federal money for discriminating against doctors and nurses who refuse to assist with abortions or dispense contraceptives based on religious grounds.
Federal law requires a 60-day waiting period before any major regulatory changes become law, so some presidents try to publish new major regulations to ensure they go into effect before the new president's inauguration on January 20.
But the Bush administration, seeking to avoid a similar fate for its rules, imposed an early deadline on agencies to finalize them. Most of its late rules will already have taken effect by the time Mr. Obama becomes president, meaning he will not able to freeze them.