President Trump signed another executive order this morning, fulfilling another campaign pledge, this one to eliminate two federal regulations for every new regulation enacted.
Trump signed the order during an Oval Office photo op, saying, "We're cutting regulations massively for small business and large business," adding, "This will be the biggest such act our country has ever seen."
The order stipulates that
"Unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive department or agency (agency) publicly proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed."
Trump said earlier today he wants to eliminate "a little more than 75%" of the regulations now on the books. "We don't need 97 different rules to take care of one element," he said.
The directive exempts regulations relating to the military, national security and foreign affairs.
Rolling back regulations has long been a goal of Republican and Democratic administrations, but its not easy, as we've reported.
There are some 80,000 pages in the Federal Register, where all federal rules are published. But in order to repeal a regulation, a federal agency has to go through the same notice and comment rule making process used to formulate new regulations. And that generally takes at least a year.
There is a workaround for newly enacted regulations, the Congressional Review Act. It gives lawmakers the opportunity to repeal regulations approved in the last 60 days of the congressional session. But that, too, is a time-consuming process, and given the Senate's need to act on Trump's nominations, it's likely that only a relatively few regulations will be repealed in this manner.