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  • Washington Highlights

    President Signs Executive Order to Enforce the Regulatory Reform Agenda

    Heather Pierce, Senior Director, Science Policy & Regulatory Counsel

    President Trump Feb. 24 signed an executive order requiring the head of each federal agency to designate a Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO) to oversee and enforce implementation of the administration’s regulatory reform policies and initiatives.

    The executive order tasks the RRO with ensuring implementation of several previous orders pertaining to regulation and policy, such as the executive order signed by President Barack Obama, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review” (EO 13563), requiring retrospective analysis of existing regulations, as well as President Trump’s Jan. 30 executive order requiring that agencies identify two regulations to eliminate for every one issued. In addition to the elimination of existing regulations, this order also sets a cap of zero dollars for the total incremental cost of new and repealed regulations finalized by each agency and department in fiscal year (FY) 2017 [see Washington Highlights, Feb 10].

    The order also requires that each agency establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and identify regulations for repeal or modification and provide a report to the agency head within 90 days from the date of the order detailing the agency’s progress toward implementing the regulatory reform initiatives. In carrying out this requirement, these task forces are asked to identify, at minimum, regulations that “(i) eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation; (ii) are outdated, unnecessary or ineffective; (iii) impose costs that exceed benefits; (iv) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies.”