President Donald Trump (R) in January 2017 issued Executive Order 13771, which requires federal agencies to eliminate two old regulations for each new regulation issued.
Have agencies complied with the 2-for-1 requirement?
E.O. 13771 only applies to economically significant regulatory actions—those with an economic impact of $100 million or more. In the 2017 fiscal year, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reported that agencies issued 67 applicable deregulatory actions and three regulatory actions for a ratio of 22-to-1. For the 2018 fiscal year, OIRA reported that agencies issued 57 applicable deregulatory actions and 14 regulatory actions for a ratio of 4-to-1. OIRA’s data, therefore, demonstrate that agencies complied with E.O. 13771 in 2017 and 2018.
The recently released Fall 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions sheds light on agencies’ compliance with E.O. 13771 in fiscal year 2019. Unlike previous editions, the Trump administration did not release an update on E.O. 13771 alongside the Unified Agenda. Instead, the administration is slated to release an update later this year. A preliminary analysis from the American Enterprise Institute, however, used data from the Spring and Fall 2019 Unified Agendas to predict that agencies issued 37 significant deregulatory actions and 28 significant regulatory actions in fiscal year 2019—shy of the 2-for-1 requirement.
Some analysts have argued that the administration has included non-significant regulations, guidance documents, and previously withdrawn rules to inflate its achievements under E.O. 13771. Others have observed that not all rules can be categorized as regulatory or deregulatory, which complicates overall accounting.