Putting a Cap on Regulation

June 14, 2017

View this Article (American Bar Association)

President Donald Trump is moving quickly to make good on his campaign promise to reduce regulation, which he called “one of the greatest job-killers of them all.” President Donald Trump, Remarks at the Republican National Convention (July 21, 2016; transcript). During his second week in office, he signed Executive Order 13771, requiring agencies to offset the costs of new regulations by removing existing burdens. Exec. Order No. 13,771, 82 Fed. Reg. 9339 (Jan. 30, 2017). Then, at the end of February, he issued E.O. 13777, establishing mechanisms for implementing both E.O. 13771 and regulatory procedures and policies that Presidents Clinton and Obama had put in place. Exec. Order No. 13,777, 82 Fed. Reg. 12,285 (Feb. 24, 2017).

With his characteristic humility, President Trump declared the orders would yield “the largest ever cut by far in terms of regulations.” Dave Boyer, Trump Signs Order to Cut Red Tape for Businesses, WASH. TIMES (Jan. 30, 2017). Indeed, they do reflect a dramatic shift in regulatory practice, though the ultimate outcome of this shift may not be visible for years. Cf. John F. Cooney, Federal Regulations During President Trump’s First 100 Days, ADMINISTRATIVE & REGULATORY LAW NEWS (Winter 2017).

Here’s a rundown of what these two cross-cutting regulatory executive orders actually do, and how far they might go towards “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Philip Rucker, Bannon: Trump Administration is in Unending Battle for ‘Deconstruction of the Administrative State’, WASH. POST (Feb. 23, 2017).