President Donald Trump signed an executive order (EO) Jan. 30 instructing federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new significant regulation promulgated. The order also instructed that the total incremental cost of new regulations finalized in the current fiscal year “be no greater than zero, unless otherwise required by law.”
The EO exempts regulations mandated by law or exempted by the director of Office of Management of Budget (OMB), as well as those impacting the military, national security and foreign affairs. The EO also instructs the OMB director to develop guidance to provide for consistency in implementing the new requirements, estimating regulatory costs and clarifying the terms and scope of the order.
On Feb. 2, the acting administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs issued interim guidance explaining the order’s general requirements, which regulatory actions are covered, standards for cost accounting, and process and waiver considerations.
The order comes on the heels of a memorandum issued by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus ordering a “regulatory freeze pending review.” This action was intended “to ensure that the President's appointees or designees have the opportunity to review any new or pending regulations.” The memorandum addresses not only those regulations that have not yet been published in the Federal Register, but also (with specified exceptions) those regulations that have been published but have not yet taken effect (and) may be temporarily postponed “for the purpose of reviewing questions of fact, law, and policy they raise. “
The ACR will review any OMB guidance related to the EO as it becomes available.