Trump signs exec order to limit regulations
January 31, 2017
President Donald Trump on Jan. 30 signed an executive order requiring government agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new one that is proposed.
The policy fulfills a Trump campaign promise.
The director of the Office of Management and Budget will be directed to advise federal departments and agencies on how to implement the order.
The executive order begins, "It is the policy of the executive branch to be prudent and financially responsible in the expenditure of funds, from both public and private sources. In addition to the management of the direct expenditure of taxpayer dollars through the budgeting process, it is essential to manage the costs associated with the governmental imposition of private expenditures required to comply with federal regulations.
"Toward that end, it is important that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process."
The Trump administration believes this executive order is the "most significant administrative action in the world of regulatory reform since President Reagan created OIRA (OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs) in 1981," a senior administration official told reporters, according to a White House press pool report.
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"It creates an actual cap of zero dollars for the remainder of fiscal year 2017 of added regulatory costs, so any new regulatory burdens will have to be offset by other deregulatory policies," the official said.
"For fiscal year '17, it's going to be zero, and it puts in place a process most importantly going forward into '18 about how OMB will work with all the agencies to manage their own regulatory review process, that's part of the existing process, and including a budgetary component that will look at the anticipated regulatory costs of any new regulations to ensure those are offset and reduced by other deregulatory policies, and for every new regulatory action there are two deregulatory actions taken out," the official said.
The official called the Obama administration's regulatory record an "extreme regulatory burden" on the economy and the private sector.
The administration is layering a new executive order on top of existing executive orders from previous administrations, which cover the regulatory review process within the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at OMB.
The existing process — left in place by the Trump team — identifies economically significant and major rulemakings of $100 million or more.
(No new Trump OIRA administrator has been nominated or confirmed; there is an acting OIRA administration; OMB director-designate Mick Mulvaney has not been confirmed.)
Trump's executive order does not revoke any Obama or pre-existing regulatory order. It creates a new management regime — "a strong structural process" — to account for the economic costs of federal regulations and to try to offset those costs in fiscal 2017, and move beyond the zero-out concept into fiscal year 2018, the official said, according to the pool report.