By: Zack Duvall
A new executive order, signed by President Trump on Friday, has taken his administration’s fight to end to what he and his aides say is over regulation brought about under the Obama administration even further.
The new order that the President signed in the Oval Office, surrounded by various executives of major U.S. companies from virtually every industry, establishes regulatory tasks forces within every Federal agency to review and make recommendations on regulations and policies deemed “unnecessary” or “burdensome” as outlined by the order and White House.
President Trump went on to describe the Obama-era regulations as “killing jobs and driving companies out of our country like never before” before telling reporters that the new order he was signing would “unleash economic activity.”
Each agency task force created under the new order would review current regulations and make determinations on which ones needed to be repealed or simplified within their designated departments.
The move by the administration comes just one day after top Trump aide, Steve Bannon, promised what he called “the deconstruction of the administrative state” during his talk at the annual political conference for conservative activists and supporters, CPAC.
President Trump also spoke at the CPAC event, during which he talked of rebuilding the military and growing the American economy, just prior to signing the order at the White House.
Cutting federal regulation on American industry was a promise that the President made throughout his campaign for the presidency, and has largely made good on for his supporters during his first 30-days.
The Trump administration has overseen a 72% decrease in regulatory activity compared to the last few months of President Obama’s term. Earlier in the month the President also signed what has since become known as the “1-for-2” order that compels federal agencies to repeal two regulations for every one new regulation that they implement.
The president has also signed several laws that were drafted and passed by congress intended to cut specific regulations lawmakers say were hurting job growth and certain industries that have been in decline in recent years, particularly the mining industry.
Of the laws that the president signed this month, one included a resolution to mitigate the harm done to the coal mining industry by the Stream Protection Rule that many within the coal and mining industry say has helped to restrict the industry as a whole.
While the Trump administration is not the only administration to implement an oversight and streamlining policy such as the one he signed Friday, the contrast between the Trump White House’s stance on regulation and the Obama White House’s stance is the reason for the dramatic impact it is having in political and activist circles nationwide.
Of the last six U.S. presidents 3, including Bill Clinton, have looked for ways to reduce the amount of regulation on U.S. businesses and industry. However, Ronald Reagan is the only other President to establish task forces to reduce regulation, and even his order didn’t establish task forces at the cabinet level as the Trump administration’s order does.
White House officials say that the order is a way to “measure and report progress in achieving the President’s directives.”
White House Chief of Staff, Reince Pribus, called Friday a “big day” for regulatory reform. Under the Obama administration, the federal government implemented over 3,000 new regulations at a cost of $873 billion dollars to taxpayers during his 8-year term.
A cost that critics of the new executive order say was worth it.
“This order is a directive to kill the safeguards Americans depend on for clean air, drinkable water, and safe food.” Scott Slesinger, the director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement after the news of the order had spread.
Robert Verchick, President of the Center for Progressive Reform, said that the executive action taken by the President was “clearly aimed at embedding his overtly political, anti-protections agenda on federal agencies that are supposed to be using science and expertise to safeguard us all.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president, Neil Bradley, said that the order by the President was an example that the administration is “tackling the regulatory state head on” and that he and his department “look forward to working with federal agencies to help identify rules that harm the economy and jobs.”