White House's last-minute regulations could set "booby traps" for Biden team

Three days after the election, the Department of Agriculture sent a proposal to the White House that would allow poultry plants to increase their line speeds — a move that the Obama administration had previously rejected for fear of endangering meatpacking workers…

The rules under development include policies that the incoming Biden administration would probably oppose, such as new caps on the length of foreign student visas; restrictions on the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of scientific research; limits on the EPA’s consideration of the benefits of regulating air pollutants; and a change that would make it easier for companies to treat workers as independent contractors, rather than employees with more robust wage protections.

“They’re clearly racing,” said Deborah Berkowitz of the National Employment Law Project, a research and worker protection advocacy group, who says that increasing line speeds in poultry plants will create unsafe working conditions. “The Trump administration has decided to appease the poultry industry. And they’re doing it at the last minute, very quickly.”