Trump’s Executive Order Could Result in Zero Net Regulatory Costs This Fiscal Year

According to a report that’s out, President Donald Trump’s executive order that eliminates two regulations for every new rule imposed could result in zero net regulatory costs this fiscal year.

On Tuesday, the American Action Forum released a report titled “Getting to $0” demonstrating how Executive Order 13771, using 2006 as a model, could result in zero net regulatory costs for the current fiscal year.

The report, written by Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the American Action Forum, claims that EO’s on regulation and the Congressional Review Act could bring regulatory costs to $0 by October 1, 2017.  Contrast that with Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah‘s $164 billion in costs from his final regulations alone.

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“With the landmark signature of Executive Order (EO) 13,771, the Trump administration has made a bold move to limit regulatory costs,” Batkins writes. “But is the EO’s goal of achieving $0 in regulatory costs for the remainder of the fiscal year (through October 1) possible?”

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“According to American Action Forum (AAF) research, the administration need only be as restrained as the Bush Administration was in 2006 to accomplish the goal of no net costs,” he continues. “With the regulatory freeze still mostly in effect, the days of $164 billion in regulatory costs could come quickly to an end.”

Batkins report also states that there have been “virtually no new regulatory burdens” since Trump’s January 30th executive order.

The report points to way in which achieving the $0 regulatory costs can be achieved.

…there are already $305 million in regulatory recessions it could use, along with more than 40 million hours of reduced paperwork. These gains occurred before the EO, but since they are so recent, the administration does have some control over their future. It’s not clear if these savings, largely stemming from a ‘Food Stamps’ revision, would count toward the one-in, two-out process or the $0 goal, but if they did, at least the Department of Agriculture would start with a negative regulatory balance.

In addition, the administration can use CRA resolutions of disapproval toward the goal of EO 13,771. The administration’s guidance makes clear, “We will consider Acts of Congress that overturn final regulatory actions, such as disapprovals of rules under the Congressional Review Act, to operate in a similar manner as agency deregulatory actions.”

Currently, Congress has introduced roughly 30 resolutions of disapproval. If they were to pass everything on their agenda, they could generate more than $2.4 billion in annual regulatory savings for EO 13,771, with 7.6 million fewer paperwork hours as a byproduct. Although no resolution has been introduced, nullifying new greenhouse gas standards for trucks would save another $2.6 billion in burdens. These savings could be achieved without first performing the laborious task of identifying two prior regulations for repeal, arguably the most challenging aspect of the order.

The Congressional Review Act has already been used to roll back a coal mining rule imposed by Obama and there have been approximately 30 resolutions to repeal some of Obama’s major regulations.

Among the complications and challenges that are faced is the fact that the central government has become a monstrosity by creating new unconstitutional agencies, which have more delegated authority.  The report also says there is a question of how the executive order treats “repeal” versus an “amend” approach.

Batkins believes that the executive order will result in “a robust retrospective review of the current stock of federal rules to identify cost savings within existing programs.”

“EO 13,771 has ushered in a new era for regulatory policy. Now, regulators must balance the imposition of new rules against removing some of the past burden of old regulations,” the report concludes.  “Regulators across the globe already engage in some form of this regulatory budgeting, but achieving $0 in net costs by October will be a challenge. However, a regulatory freeze, a robust retrospective effort, and a measured pace of regulation for next few months could make “getting to $0” by the end of the fiscal year a reality.”

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