Mar 1, 2017

President Issues Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda

​(PAINT.ORG)​  President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda." The executive order directs federal executive agencies to designate an agency official as its Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO). The order mandates each RRO to oversee the implementation of regulatory reform initiatives and policies to ensure that agencies effectively carry out regulatory reforms, consistent with applicable law.

These initiatives and policies include President Trump's Jan. 30-issued Executive Order 1377, "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs," known as the '2 for 1': whenever an executive department or agency proposes a new regulation, it is to identify two existing regulations for repeal. According to the White House, the goal is to offset the number and cost of new regulations.

Each agency is to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations (as defined in section 4 of Executive Order 13771) and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, consistent with applicable law. According the Executive Order, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda," at a minimum, each Regulatory Reform Task Force should identify regulations that:

(i)    eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation;

(ii)   are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;

(iii)  impose costs that exceed benefits; or

(iv)   create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies;

(v)    are inconsistent with the requirements of section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note), or the guidance issued pursuant to that provision, in particular those regulations that rely in whole or in part on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or that are insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility; or

(vi)   derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified.

President Trump's '2 for 1' Executive Order

Under Executive Order 1377, in addition to identifying two regulations to be repealed for every new one, for fiscal year 2017, the total incremental cost of all new regulations should be zero, unless required by law or otherwise directed by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Other pertinent points of Executive Order 1377:

  • It applies to significant regulatory actions only (any that imposes an annual economic cost of $100 million or more, 1993 EO 12866);
  • It does not apply to independent agencies; but independent agencies are encouraged to identify existing regulations to offset costs of new significant regulatory actions;
  • Costs should be measured as opportunity costs to society, which is defined as "the net benefit [a] resource would have provided in the absence of the requirement";
  • Agencies may not use previously calculated costs from Regulatory Impact Analyses for cost estimates, and must instead use "the most current information available"; and
  • Guidance or interpretive documents may be addressed on case-by-case basis.