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Trump’s Latest Executive Order Takes Aim at Federal Regulations

Trump’s Latest Executive Order Takes Aim at Federal Regulations

For each new one, agencies must eliminate two.

President Trump’s latest executive order states that agencies must “revoke two regulations for every new regulation they request.”

Trump signed the decision after he met with small business owners. He promised a reduction in regulations on the campaign trail.

From Politico:

“This will be the biggest such act that our country has ever seen,” Trump declared moments before signing it inside the Oval Office. “There will be regulation, there will be control, but it will be a normalized control where you can open your business and expand your business very easily. And that’s what our country has been all about.”

“If you have a regulation you want, number one, we’re not gonna approve it because it’s already been approved probably in 17 different forms,” Trump said. “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.”

The order put the regulatory budget at $0 for 2017. This means that “any new ‘burdens’ would have to be offset.” The order does not include the military and national security. It has one flexibility:

An agency can determine the two cuts, the White House can have input and the OMB [Office of Management and Budget] director can make emergency exceptions.

“That’s a big one,” Trump said upon signing the order.

Officials explained that the memo the White House recently issued on temporary regulation freezes remains in place and that the executive order sets up the process going forward.

Trump hopes the order will help small businesses grow, which would help create new jobs.


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Congress should do the same thing. Otherwise old laws sit around forever like ancient leftovers in the refrigerator.

Of course Trump’s pen doesn’t control Congress. If Congress is going to make its own act a bit more sanitary, it will have to do it on its own.

This is a great idea…BUT…

It depends for its wonderfulness on the craftiness of the administrative state. I can readily see malevolent bureaucrats drafting one order that would triple the bad effects of a lost one.

We’ll see…

I’d like to see this EO as an ‘addition to’. As in the Trump Administration combs through the regulations and eliminates those that are unnecessary and this EO is just to cover those regulations that they might have missed.

Numbers of regulations sounds nice, but is almost meaningless. If it required that in order to pass a new reg, old regs of at least double the cost/budget burden would need to be eliminated, it would have a beneficial impact.

    tom swift in reply to openeyes. | January 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Its importance is that it may be the first time that anyone actually in a prominent position in government has stated, as a principle and as a concrete—albeit modest—proposition, that the unlimited accumulation of rules and regulations is not one of the proper functions of government.

    The very idea that generating red tape is not an accomplishment is something we’d never get from a professional career politician.

      Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | January 30, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      Anti-historical bullshit, as is so often the case with you, tom.

      Starting at least with Coolidge, and moving right along in fits and starts THROUGH the Clinton administrations. It may have been just chin-music from Dollar Bill, but reducing the red tape in the central government was one of OwlGore’s primary tasks.

      It was certainly a cherished goal of Reagan.

      That’s hardly a complete catalog, too.

This is sorta’ like a “Cap and Trade” for regulations, isn’t it?

This is a good piece asking a question I’ve suggested several times; do we need to reform civil service?

The answer is clearly “YES!”, and it is an important part of killing the administrative state, which was never a Constitutional notion.

“I note one proposal to make this Congress a two-house body. Excellent–the more impediments to legislation the better. But, instead of following tradition, I suggest one house legislators, another whose single duty is to repeal laws. Let legislators pass laws only with a two-thirds majority . . . while the repealers are able to cancel any law through a mere one-third minority. Preposterous? Think about it. If a bill is so poor that it cannot command two-thirds of your consents, is it not likely that it would make a poor law? And if a law is disliked by as many as one-third is it not likely that you would be better off without it?” – Professor Bernardo de la Paz, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” (Robert Heinlein)

The racist tyrant! Who does he think he is banning new regulations like this!!!!

So the Leftists Staffers in Congress just go and write legislation so poorly that, presuming passage, a large number of regulations that are needed to make the law work.

buckeyeminuteman | January 30, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Legitimate question, has Congress done anything useful yet? The good thing about Obama’s EOs is that they can be undone by Trumps orders. But let’s not be too short sided as Democrats were. In 4 or 8 years there’s a good chance there will be another Dem president. We need to get these things codified into law.

    And there we run into the senate’s 60-vote barrier — the same barrier that prevented the Democrats from entrenching their agenda into legislation. Remember that 0bamacare only passed because they briefly had 60 senators, and once they were down to 59 they were unable to amend it. Now the same barrier prevents Republicans from doing as we would wish, but remember that if “in 4 or 8 years there’s a good chance there will be another Dem president”, it’s equally likely that in the same timeframe there will be a Dem congress, and knocking down the barrier will give them free rein. They’re already regretting knocking it down for nominations (except for the supreme court); let’s not be in that same situation 4 or 6 or 8 years from now.

nordic_prince | January 30, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Sounds like a good start. Now if we could eliminate funding nonsense like studies that determine whether one-legged canary owners are disproportionately impacted by restricted access on odd Tuesdays to arugula-infused soy lattes in Podunk Holler, then we’d really be making progress.

Devils Advocate position here: The immediate effect will be that agencies will revoke two specific regulations in exchange for passing one vague regulation that covers both of the aforementioned plus a great deal more ground.

I wonder how this will mess with the upcoming Farm Bill? (every five years)

Off Topic but Spicers Presser today is great. Given time, he should be able to be at the same level as Rumsfield.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | January 30, 2017 at 2:39 pm

I thought of that also.

However, I noticed this in Trump’s comments. (All caps emphasis mine.)

“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.”


An agency can determine the two cuts, the WHITE HOUSE CAN HAVE INPUT and the OMB [Office of Management and Budget] director can make emergency exceptions.