Trump slows federal regs to a crawl in first six months
Just halfway through his first year in office, President Trump is delivering on a key campaign promise to cut red tape, according to a new study. The six-month review of Trump’s regulatory agenda by the American Action Forum shows the federal government practically slamming the brakes on regulation. The number of new rules is now at a record low, according to the study, in sharp contrast to the start of the Obama administration.
“If you look at what’s happening in the first six months for President Trump compared to President Obama, it’s staggering,” group president Douglas Holtz-Eakin told “Fox & Friends” on Friday.
On the campaign trail, then-candidate Trump promised that “for every new regulation, we’re going to cut two,” and to “get rid of all the unnecessary regulations.”
This new data from AAF, a conservative-leaning think tank, shows a total of 27 rules have been withdrawn so far this year, which is slightly lower than the 41 rules that were approved.
But the study shows the regulatory push at the beginning of the Obama administration was roughly 20 times more costly to the U.S. economy than at the start of the current administration.
The Obama administration’s first six months of regulations imposed $24.4 billion in total costs, compared with the $1.2 billion for the Trump administration. And the 41 rules approved represents a fraction of the number approved at the start of previous administrations.
“The business community really feels like the beatings have stopped, Washington is not trying to put them in the bullseye, and they can go about running their businesses and not worrying about the regulations,” Holz-Eakin, who ran the Congressional Budget Office under then-President George W. Bush, said.
A Fox News review of Trump’s first 100 days in office in April also showed the president following through on vows to roll back red tape. Thirteen of the 28 bills signed at the time were done under the Congressional Review Act to roll back Obama-era regulations.
According to AAF, those measures overturned a series of Obama-era rules that produced annual cost savings of $1.1 billion–or $3.7 billion in lifetime cost savings.
“No longer can we allow these rules and regulations to tie down our economy, chain up our prosperity, and sap our great American spirit,” Trump said in June at the Department of Transportation.
In March, he signed an executive order to review the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.
In April, Trump ordered the Agriculture Department to eliminate unncessary regulations that “hurt farmers and ruraly communities,” and just this summer, Trump moved to scrap an Obama-era rule that withdrew hundreds of millions of acres of federally owned land from energy exploration, and another that expanded the number of waterways covered by the federal Clean Water Act.
But the rollback of Obama-era energy and environment regulations drew considerable pushback from Democrats. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., blasted the administration for a “spitefaul assault” on the Clean Power plan.