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Trump’s ‘Two-Out, One-In’ Executive Order on Regulations Is Radical, Unworkable and Dangerous


Trump’s ‘Two-Out, One-In’ Executive Order on Regulations Is Radical, Unworkable and Dangerous

Public Citizen

WASHINGTON - Note: Today, President Donald Trump signed an executive order with the goal of repealing two public protections for every new one issued. The order also establishes a process for setting an annual cap on federal regulations, which the Trump administration intends to set at $0, according to reports.

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen



Cripes, more ridiculous ignorance of checks and balances, turning his back on governance. And we thought the eternal campaign was our biggest problem.


This has been a proposal in the Republican playbook a longtime. I have a suspicion it'll be regarded pretty highly in quarters on the Right.


But they never figured out how to do it, because you can't just make blanket instructions like this. You need civil servants to work it out, and the folks in the EPA cubicles aren't going to provide information for two of their regs (and jobs) to be tossed out for one new reg in another agency.


To be honest, I don't even know how it's workable, but haven't read the order myself either. It may just be another chaos creating item on Trump's govern-by-instinct list.


Just read the order. It calls for the repeal of two regulations to offset the cost of any new regulations issued (Section 2). More important, unless required by law, the "total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero" (Section 2(b)). What that last part means in practice is anyone's guess, but subsection 2(d) says agencies will be getting further guidance. To add, it appears each agency will get an "incremental cost allowance" for issuing and repealing regulations (Section 3(d)). I'm betting it won't be huge. Either way, this appears to be a direct attack on the regulatory state.


As I said, asking the civil servants to figure out how to lose their jobs? Right.


In practice, I think agencies won't be publishing any new regulations in the Federal Register for public review and comment. In other words, they won't be adopting any new regulations, as that is part of the process for crafting them. Perhaps more interesting, is the definition of "regulation" (Section 4). It "means an agency statement of general or particular applicability and future defect designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy or to describe the procedure or practice requirements of an agency" with a few exceptions. If I'm reading that correctly, this EO goes beyond regulations issued through the normal process via the Fedeeal Register, but can encompass nearly any "rule" an agency issues.

I'll be interested to read what others think who are familiar with policy issuance on this level.


Well, if it tries to limit the implementation of duly passed law, ...


Hope everybody has a water filter or two in their home. The sounds of Flint MI are coming again.


You clearly do not understand what happened in Flint. People in the wealthier neighborhoods had already had their pipes replaced without lead-soldered joints. The water simply lacked the treatment to keep it from leaching that lead.

I have my own well, btw.