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President Trump Issues Executive Order Enforcing Regulatory Reform Agenda
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By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham

On March 1, 2017, President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, issued on February 24, 2017, was published in the Federal Register. 82 Fed. Reg. 12285.  This EO follows closely on the heels of his previous EO concerning government regulations (EO 13771), but is different in that it is intended to further and enforce President Trump’s EO as well as EO’s issued in prior administrations, instead of creating an entirely new set of directives.  EO 13777 directs the head of every agency (except those receiving a waiver) to designate an agency official as its Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO), who will “oversee the implementation of regulatory reform initiatives and policies to ensure that agencies effectively carry out regulatory reforms,” including the following initiatives and policies:

  • EO 13771 of January 30, 2017 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs), regarding offsetting the number and cost of new regulations;
  • EO 12866 of September 30, 1993 (Regulatory Planning and Review), as amended, regarding regulatory planning and review;
  • Section 6 of Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), regarding retrospective review; and
  • The termination, consistent with applicable law, of programs and activities that derive from or implement EOs, guidance documents, policy memoranda, rule interpretations, and similar documents, or relevant portions thereof, that have been rescinded.

The EO also establishes Regulatory Reform Task Forces (RRTF), consisting of the agency RROs and other designated agency officials, which will evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification. Each RRFT is tasked with identifying regulations that:

  • Eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation;
  • Are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;
  • Impose costs that exceed benefits;
  • Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies;
  • Are inconsistent with the requirements of Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 2001, or the guidance issued pursuant to that provision, in particular those regulations that rely in whole or in part on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or that are insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility; or
  • Derive from or implement EO’s or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified.

Within 90 days of the EO, the RRTFs are also directed to provide a report to the agency head detailing the agency’s progress toward the following goals:

  • Improving implementation of regulatory reform initiatives and policies pursuant to Section 2 of this order; and
  • Identifying regulations for repeal, replacement, or modification.

Agencies that generally issue very few or no regulations may be eligible for a waiver, but the agency head must file a request with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a waiver, and waivers can be revoked at any time.  More information on EO 13771 and OMB’s Guidance on same is available in our blog items EPA Issues Report to Congress on Implementing Amended TSCA Provisions, President Trump Issues Memo and Order on Reducing Federal Regulations and OMB Issues Guidance on Implementation of “One In, Two Out” Executive Order.