Obama pushes through string of laws
WASHINGTON: In the past week, President Barack Obama’s administration overturned a decades-old policy toward Cuban immigrants, forged two major agreements to address racial bias in big-city police departments and approved an unexpected cut in mortgage premiums for thousands of low-income and first-time home buyers.
In the final days before Obama leaves office, administration officials are rushing to complete dozens of tasks that will affect millions of lives and solidify the president’s imprint on history.
But in many cases, their permanence is uncertain, and President-elect Donald Trump is already pledging to undo some of them after taking office.
The administration took away one of the special immigration privileges Cubans arriving in the US without visas have enjoyed for 50 years; announced sanctions designations against 18 senior Syrian officials for their role in the use of chlorine as a chemical weapon in 2014 and 2015; and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Vice President Joe Biden.
Last month, 23 GOP senators wrote to Obama asking that his administration “cease issuing new, non-emergency regulations given the election results of November 8”.
Many departments have also accelerated hiring in recent weeks, hoping to bring on as many employees as possible in case Trump proceeds with a planned freeze for federal employees. Washington Post