Shortly after being elected president, Donald Trump signed an executive order directing all federal agencies to find two regulations to cut for every new one issued. Agencies also were asked to pay for new regulatory costs by eliminating existing rules.
In December, Trump said the goals set out in that executive order had not only been met but exceeded.
“We blew our target out of the water,” Trump said, noting that his administration had eliminated 22 regulations for every new one put in place.
The Associated Press reported on Trump’s remarks at the White House as he stood next to giant stacks of paper representing the regulatory slashing his administration has done over the past year.
“For many decades, an ever-growing maze of regulations, rules, restrictions has cost our country trillions and trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, countless American factories, and devastated many industries,” Trump said.
Neomi Rao, the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said the administration had completed 67 deregulatory actions and taken three regulatory actions through the end of September that would result in a cost savings of $570 million a year.
Those deregulatory actions include a wide range of actions, including the withdrawal of guidance documents and reductions in paperwork burdens, and a dozen regulations killed by Congress, Rao said.
More than 1,500 regulations other rules and regulations have been withdrawn, delayed, or are under reconsideration, officials said.
AP said that Trump expressed support for some federal regulations, including ones that protect workers’ health and safety and preserve national parks and other natural resources in the United States.
But, Trump said as he cut the ribbon on the massive stack, “every unnecessary page in these stacks represents hidden tax and harmful burdens to American workers and American businesses.”
The Trump policy is explained on the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs website where the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions is posted:
This agenda represents this administration’s next step in fundamental regulatory reform and a reorientation toward reducing unnecessary regulatory burden on the American people.
By amending and eliminating regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete, the Administration can promote economic growth and innovation and protect individual liberty.
The numbers show that 1,579 regulations have been withdrawn or put in “delayed action status.”
Critics, however, have challenged Trump’s claims, according to AP.
Stuart Shapiro, a Rutgers University professor who worked at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs during the Clinton and Bush presidencies, is one of them.
“There’s some reality there and a lot of bluster,” Shapiro said, adding that deregulating rules is just as time-consuming as adding new regulations and nothing is certain until the process is complete.