Monday, January 22, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bush blocks Clinton’s orders

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) — Moving quickly upon taking office, President George W. Bush issued an order that essentially blocked some of the last-minute executive orders and rules laid down by outgoing President Bill Clinton.

The order issued yesterday was believed to apply to such orders as new regulations for managed care programs under medicare and new environmental rules on runoff from animal feeding operations.

It would also apply to Clinton’s declaration of the former military post of Governor’s Island in New York harbor as a national monument, a designation Clinton made yesterday.

Bush’s move did not apply to the 140 presidential pardons and 36 prison sentence commutations that Clinton issued less than two hours before his term expired yesterday.

Bush’s order, signed by new White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and sent to the heads and acting heads of executive departments and agencies, said the decision was made ‘’to ensure that the President’s appointees have the opportunity to review any new or pending regulations.’’

‘‘It’s a way for us to conduct a more thorough and effective review of these last-minute regulations,’’ Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

The order meant that no new rules could be printed in the Federal register, which blocked them because the rules cannot take effect until they have appeared in the Federal register for a period of time.

Bush also issued a 60-day stay on regulations that were published in the Federal register but have not yet taken effect.

Some of the blizzard of rules issued by Clinton in his last days in office angered Republicans, particularly his decision to declare nearly 60 million acres (24 million hectares) of federal land, mostly in the western states, off limits to logging. That order, however, came after a lengthy federal review period and would appear to be extremely difficult to withdraw.

Meanwhile, President Bush sketched an inaugural vision yesterday of a unified America and vowed to serve with ‘civility, courage, compassion and character.’

Mostly steering around the tumultuous post-election events that led him to the presidency, Bush used much of his inauguration address speech to emphasize that America’s future depended on bringing people together.

Meanwhile, a tuxedoed George W. Bush celebrated his inauguration as US President in whirlwind fashion racing from ball to ball and dancing at each briefly — very briefly — with his wife, Laura. He was to attend eight inaugural balls yesterday.

At each ball, Bush joked at his own expense about his bad dancing, sometimes mugging to the crowd or shooting glances at his watch while he moved to the music.

At his first ball the new President lasted only 24 seconds, doing a recently practiced box step as a waltz played in the background. At another stop, Bush danced briefly and then asked reporters, ‘’how long was that?’’ told it was 46 seconds, he promised to do better.

The most embarrassing moment of the evening for the First Family may have come at the Florida ball, when Bush danced first with his wife and then with each of his twin 19-year-old daughters. As he attempted to twirl his daughter Jenna, a freshman at the University of Texas, she became entangled, and the top of her dress loosened. She left the stage clearly unhappy.

Meanwhile, George W. Bush’s motorcade lurched through the largest inaugural protests since the 1970s yesterday, enduring thousands of protesters who hurled insults, bottles, tomatoes and an egg.

Protesters clashed briefly with the police clad in riot gear at a few flash points while Bush remained inside his armoured stretch car for most of the parade up a soggy, cold Pennsylvania Avenue.

A couple of protesters threw bottles and tomatoes before the presidential limousine arrived, and one hurled an egg that landed near the motorcade, the secret service said.

But the protesters managed little else to interrupt the festivities in the face of a massive show of 7,000 police officers. As the day grew darker and colder, authorities had arrested only six persons and activists began to disperse.

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