On Monday, Trump signed into law a bill that, in effect, froze federal agencies’ ability to issue new regulations for up to 60 days, including the Environmental Protection Agency, which has been in place since the end of the Obama administration.
The law is called the Regulatory Flexibility and Accountability Act, or RFAAs.
In a statement, the EPA described the new law as a “federal action” that will be “effective immediately.”
The agency has been under the Trump administration for less than a month, and the agency had announced a shutdown on Oct. 1.
But in the midst of the shutdown, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, a Trump appointee who previously worked for the oil and gas industry, took to Twitter to criticize the law.
“Today I signed the Regulatory Reauthorization Act of 2017, which is a disaster for the EPA,” Pruitt tweeted.
“This legislation will force EPA to make hard decisions without Congressional approval.
It is a direct attack on the EPA’s ability to protect the health, safety, and environment of our country.”
Pruitt, who was confirmed as Trump’s EPA administrator on Jan. 20, has been accused of using the agency to his political advantage.
In January, a federal judge struck down a rule Trump had announced in July to make the oil industry pay for air pollution in the United States.
Pruitt had argued that the rule violated federal environmental law, and that the court was not required to act on his arguments because the rule was still being enforced.
The ruling was the latest in a series of high-profile decisions against the Trump Administration.
As Pruitt continues to defend the EPA, he has also been attacked for his business dealings with oil and natural gas companies, and his decision to take a financial interest in the oil drilling company Deepwater Horizon.
Pruitt has denied the allegations and said he would divest from companies that had business dealings in the area.