Trump orders two regulations repealed for each one issued

Filed under: News |

By Joy Waltemath

By Harold Bishop, J.D. and Pamela Wolf, J.D.

President Trump has signed an executive order that is the first step in fulfilling his campaign promise to repeal two federal regulations for every one that is issued. The temporary regulatory freeze memorandum issued by the White House on January 20 remains in effect; this new executive order sets up the process for reducing regulations and regulatory costs going forward. The military, national security, and foreign affairs functions are exempted from the order, however.

For fiscal year (FY) 2017, the executive order requires any executive department or federal agency that proposes a new regulation to identify at least two regulations to be repealed. In addition, the order effectively creates a regulatory budget of $0 for FY 2017 by requiring that the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be no greater than $0.

Under the order, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must provide federal agency guidance addressing:

processes for standardizing the measurement and estimation of regulatory costs;
standards for determining what qualifies as new and offsetting regulations;
standards for determining the costs of existing regulations that are considered for elimination;
processes for accounting for costs in different fiscal years;
methods to oversee the issuance of rules with costs offset by savings at different times or different agencies; and
emergencies and other circumstances that might justify individual waivers of the requirements.

The order also requires that, beginning in FY 2018 and going forward, each agency identify to the OMB each regulation that increases incremental costs, the offsetting regulations, and the best approximation of the total costs or savings associated with each new regulation or repealed regulation.

The order requires that each regulation approved by OMB through the Presidential Budget Process be included in the Unified Regulatory Agenda. In addition, any regulation not included in the Unified Regulatory Agenda may not be issued by the agency unless approved in advance in writing by the OMB Director.

During the Presidential Budget Process, the order requires the Director of OMB to identify a total amount of incremental costs that will be allowed for each agency in issuing new regulations and repealing regulations for the next fiscal year. No regulations exceeding the agency’s total incremental cost allowance will be permitted in that fiscal year, unless required by law or approved in writing by the Director of OMB.

Criticism will undoubtedly follow. Like many of President Trump’s actions since his first day at the White House on January 20, criticism will undoubtedly follow. Public Citizen wasted no time criticizing this latest executive order. “This executive order (EO) is as radical and unworkable as the other ones Trump has signed,” Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said in a statement. “It will result in immediate and lasting damage to our government’s ability to save lives, protect our environment, police Wall Street, keep consumers safe, and fight discrimination. It will fundamentally change our government’s role from one of protecting the public to protecting corporate profits, and will lead to a dangerous new era of deregulation and corporate ‘self-regulation.’”

In the labor and employment landscape, the executive order raises concerns about workplace safety and wage and hour protections. It certainly has the potential to hamstring federal agencies charged with protecting employees.

“This EO is just the next and most arbitrary attack in a litany of attacks against public protections,” according to Weissman. “From overreaching measures like this ridiculous “two out, one in,” standard, to the agency gag orders keeping staff from discussing their work protecting the public, to the discussion of massive budget cuts—Trump and Republican lawmakers are attempting to usher in an era where the protections the American people need and want will come second to industry profits.”

Independent agencies not covered. According to a statement by the White House, as reported by Morning Consult, the executive order does not cover independent federal agencies. That means that while the Department of Labor is subject to the latest regulatory mandate, the EEOC and NLRB, among others, are not.

Source:: Trump orders two regulations repealed for each one issued


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