Regulatory watchdog applauds Trump efforts to slash red tape

A review of new federal regulation under the Trump administration shows that the first six months of Donald Trump’s presidency have seen overall regulatory activity slow “to historically low levels.”

That’s according to a review by the center right American Action Forum, which finds that the nation’s regulatory landscape currently looks drastically different than it did under the Obama administration.

“Compared to the Obama Administration, the Trump Administration has imposed: 1/20th of the lifetime costs, 1/11th of the annual costs, and 1/8th of the paperwork,” the report reveals. “With nearly 6 million fewer paperwork burden hours, that amounts to the workload savings of roughly 3,000 full-time employees.”

It continues: “In terms of both overall rulemakings and only those designated as ‘economically significant’ (an annual economic impact of more than $100 million), the Trump Administration has set record lows in overall rulemaking volume. Only 41 rules concluded OIRA [Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs] reviews and only 16 of those were ‘economically significant.’ For perspective, the next-lowest amounts for either measure were 180 and 28, respectively (both in 2001). The highest amount for either measure was 460 (in 1994) and 80 (in 2016), respectively.”

That means what Trump’s government didn’t do in its first six months by halting the pace of regulation could have a more significant impact on the economy than anything it has accomplished to date.

There’s is still work to be done in terms of deregulation– but Trump appears poised to reverse many in the years ahead.

The report points out: “While deregulatory administrative actions will take some time, there are significant moves underway. Via executive action, President Trump has ordered the review of at least a dozen substantial rules worth roughly $55.1 billion in total costs. Many of the original rulemakings on this list took years for the previous administration to promulgate, and thus will likely take years to revise or repeal. But there is already movement on some of them. During the last week of July – just beyond the first 6 months window – agencies published proposals to roll back the Obama-era rules on “Waters of the United States” and hydraulic fracturing (commonly known as “fracking”) that could collectively save nearly $350 million annually. Additionally, according to its first “Unified Agenda,” the administration sees the potential for up to $13.5 billion in annual savings from deregulatory actions in the pipeline.”

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