Trump wants to scrap two regulations for each new one adopted
President Trump signed an order Monday aimed at cutting regulations on businesses, saying that agencies should eliminate at least two regulations for each new one.
The White House later released the text of the order, which added that the cost of any new regulation should be offset by eliminating regulations with the same costs to businesses. It excluded regulations regarding the military.
The impact of the order was difficult to judge based on the president’s remarks. It could be difficult to implement under current law and would concentrate greater power in the Office of Management and Budget, which already reviews federal regulations.
Moreover, any effort to scrap a regulation triggers its own process, complete with draft rules, comment periods, and regulation rewriting. That process can be subject to litigation. At the least, Trump’s proposal would add a new time-consuming requirement for any new congressional legislation or agency regulation on topics as varied as banking, health care, environment, labor conditions and more.
Trump signed the document — which he called “a big one” — at his desk in the Oval Office surrounded by nine small-business owners, who earlier this morning met in the Roosevelt Room.
“This will be the largest ever cut by far in terms of regulations,” Trump said. “If you have a regulation you want, number one we’re not going to approve it because it’s already been approved probably in 17 different forms. But if we do, the only way you have a chance is we have to knock out two regulations for every new regulation. So if there’s a new regulation, they have to knock out two. But it goes way beyond that.”
Taking aim at government regulation is a perennial sport in Washington. Ronald Reagan attacked government regulation, but Democrats have criticized excessive regulations too. In 1993, then-Vice President Al Gore made “reinventing government” one of his main portfolios, at one point lamenting that there were 10 pages of regulations about government ashtrays, one of which he shattered on “Late Night with David Letterman.”
Business groups applauded this latest move. But experts on government policy said Trump’s formulation made little sense. William Gale, a tax and fiscal policy expert at the Brookings Institution, said “the number of regulations is not the key. It’s how onerous regulations are. This seems like a totally nonsensical constraint to
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