In sweeping move, Trump puts regulation monitors in U.S. agencies

President Donald Trump gesture as he walks on the South Lawn
U.S. President Donald Trump gesture as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return to Washington, U.S., after a weekend in Palm Beach, Florida, February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

February 24, 2017

By David Shepardson and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday to place “regulatory reform” task forces and officers within federal agencies in what may be the most far reaching effort to pare back U.S. red tape in recent decades.

Trump signed the directive in the Oval Office with chief executives of major U.S. corporations standing behind him including Dow Chemical Co <DOW.N>, Lockheed Martin Corp <LMT.N> and U.S. Steel Corp <X.N>.

The sweeping order directs every federal agency to establish a task force to ensure each has a team to research all regulations and take aim at those deemed burdensome to the U.S. economy and designate regulatory reform officers within 60 days and must report on the progress within 90 days.

“Excessive regulation is killing jobs, driving companies out of our country like never before,” Trump said before signing the order. “Every regulation should have to pass a simple test; does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers?”

The effort is part of a Republican push to undo many of the actions of former President Barack Obama, who left office last month after two four-year terms.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan created a presidential task force on regulatory relief but that effort did not establish task forces at the cabinet level. Other presidents including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, carried out attempts to reduce or streamline government regulations.

Trump’s order requires agencies to “measure and report progress in achieving the president’s directives.” Each task force will make recommendations on which regulations to repeal or simplify, Trump said.

The order says agencies should seek to repeal regulations that “inhibit job creation,” are “ineffective,” impose costs that exceed benefits or “create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory initiatives and policies.”

Trump on Friday said the United States does not need “75 percent of the repetitive, horrible regulations that hurt companies, hurt jobs.”

The Republican has vowed a sweeping cut in U.S. regulations and previously ordered agencies to repeal two rules for every new one adopted.

Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon told a gathering of conservatives on Thursday that deregulation, which he called “the deconstruction of the administrative state,” was a top priority for the administration.

Scott Slesinger, legislative director at the Natural Resources Defense Council environmental group, said “this order is a directive to kill the safeguards Americans depend on for clean air, drinkable water and safe food.”

OBAMA REGULATIONS

The Trump administration says executive orders from the previous government cost hundreds of billions of dollars. The Obama administration said the benefits of those regulations to the public far outweighed the costs.

The White House said the Obama administration finalized more than 3,000 regulations. Many of those were required by Congress.

Robert Verchick, president of the Center for Progressive Reform, a think tank, criticized Trump’s new order as “clearly aimed at embedding his overtly political, anti-protections agenda at federal agencies that are supposed to be using science and expertise to safeguard us all.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president Neil Bradley praised the Trump administration for “tackling the regulatory state head on…. We look forward to working with the federal agencies to help identify rules that harm the economy and threaten jobs.”

The order Trump signed in January sets an annual cap on the cost of new regulations but does not apply to most financial reform rules introduced by the Obama administration.

The Trump administration also ordered a freeze on regulations pending review and has stopped some regulations from taking effect.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Steve Holland; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Alistair Bell)

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  • Bill Sims

    The sweeping move was to implement regulations in the first place. This is a freeing move to deregulate America.

  • Semper Veritas

    Spot on. Currently, the US Government is in bad shape and needs overhauling via a close look at everything. Running the government is nothing more than running/managing/directing a well tuned, top of the line corporation. Identify/surface the problems, assign responsibilities, set goals/objectives with specific completion dates for groups and individuals, closely monitor and hold groups/individuals accountable for meeting the established goals/objectives, update/goals as necessary, and project completion/monitor going forward. It’s not difficult stuff if you have the right/qualified people, but you must have the will to succeed ,i.e., hold people accountable, expose and axe those who are unwilling/incapable re pursuing and achieving the stated goals and objectives. President Trump will succeed and so will America and so will its citizen voters! To the skeptics, obstructionists, moaners, complainers, work-avoiders, blowhards, and the untold millions who say “it can’t or shouldn’t be done”, just watch it unfold as you are caught-up in this long, overdue overhaul of the government engine.

    • AmericaFirst

      Amen. This country has needed a business man running it, rather than a politic, for some time. I remember during the campaigns, Hillary thought she was putting Trump down by pointing out that he had no political experience. Ha! That’s exactly what got him in sweat heart.

  • Clinicaleducator1

    Good first step. MANY MORE to go.

  • Bill Jr

    I Think We Need A Multi-Pronged Approach. There Needs To Be ‘Reform Officers’ Sent To All Public Schools. Apparently The Public School Teacher’s “Minds” Didn’t Form Correctly and It’s Affecting (Infecting) The Children. Like The boy in Fla. Throwing Blocks at The Presidential Motorcade.

    • darkmark

      I Think We Need A Multi-Pronged Approach. There Needs To Be ‘Reform Officers’ Sent To everybody’s home. Parents are not bringing their children up according to conservative christian principles. Children’s minds are allowed to form their own thoughts. this could be dangerous for donny’s authoritative fascist regime.

      • john smith

        I agree thats a good idea! See even you dumb libs can have a good idea now and then

      • Zotus

        Children learn by example not so much by forming their own thoughts and many parents let liberal schools, immoral TV programs and violent video games give their children the examples of morality & ethics they grow up with. No wonder marraige is no longer a sacred vow “till death do us part” and we as a society are even considering that it’s somehow normal for men to take hormones, grow breasts, dress and act as women. I for one don’t have any problem with children attending church, bible study and learning some decent morals.

      • Aah Yes

        You just summarized the organized progressive/feminist attack on families that’s been eroding parental rights and responsibility for decades.

      • dan Lindsey

        Stupid —responsibility and self accountability are not Fascist concepts—you did not even know what the word means if you think Trump is fascist— he is a boss ans a leader —- not a politician or socialist cupcake.

      • Frank

        @dark (matter for brains): So, the news today that they are indoctrinating PRESCHOOLERS in pure leftist ideology is of NO concern to you. Are you REALLY dumb enough to believe that PRESCHOOLERS are old enough to understand the leftist ideology, “forming their own thoughts”?!? This is right out of the communist brainwashing manual. “Form their own thoughts”? Pffft!

  • a voice of concern

    Here is my three part suggestion:
    1) Have the IRS, EPA, NSA, BATF, Homeland security and others write rule book to be reviewed, modified and approved by congress. (Maximum 20 pages long)
    2) Give the rule books to each state and their State Police to enforce those rules.
    3) Shut down all of those agencies permanently.

    • Believer

      This is not a viable idea. I have never a valuable guide book at a maximum of 20 pages. The tax code alone could not be taken to a 20 page guide. The upper 2% would never allow a flat tax rate. In addition, the states would not work together nor enforce consistently. Take a trip to China and you will have a great appreciation for the EPA. My work is greatly influence by federal compliance and there are times that I think there needs to be more rules to make companies be ethical.

      • john smith

        Yes make more rules for American companies to follow while China is allowed to go on polluting the world with little or no regulations.

        You just said how badly China is polluting and you want to take away more American jobs so they can go to China the most polluting Country in the world. How does that get rid of pollution?

      • AmericaFirst

        I too must deal with supplies sold to the government. It takes them over 6 months to make a decision. The last thing they need is more red tape to get something done. There comes a point when too many checks and balances uses more money than any waste they CLAIM to be preventing.

      • dan Lindsey

        If you made a statement critizing China’s government as one of their subjects like you attack America they would shoot you. Ain’t that just precious.