The "Midnight Regulations" Phenomenon

Jul 18, 2012
Rayburn B-340

Event Speakers

Patrick McLaughlin

Senior Research Fellow

As the end of the 112th Congress nears, policymakers are turning their attention to the “midnight regulations” phenomenon – a noticeable surge in the quantity of final regulations issued between Election Day and Inauguration Day of presidential election years.  Although a regulatory surge seems to occur in all presidential election years, it is particularly noticeable when the incumbent is not re-elected or cannot be re-elected because of term limits – hence, the term “midnight,” referring to the figurative final hour of an outgoing administration.

Please join Mercatus scholar Patrick McLaughlin for an overview on why midnight regulations matter, which will feature the following issues:

  • What exactly is the “midnight regulations” phenomenon, and what evidence demonstrates that it is real?
  • Why should policymakers be concerned about midnight regulations?
  • Is there empirical evidence that midnight regulations are different from other regulations?
  • What can be done to limit midnight regulations?

Space is limited. Please RSVP today to reserve a seat.

This event is free and open to all congressional and federal agency staff. This event is not open to the general public. Food will be provided. Due to space constraints, please no interns. Questions? Please contact Erin Connolly, Events Associate, at or (703) 993-9913.