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Executive order requires agencies to form “Regulatory Reform Task Force”

On Friday, February 24, President Trump signed an executive order directing each agency to establish a Regulatory Reform Tax Force that will evaluate the agency’s existing regulations and identify for repeal or modification those that are costly and unnecessary.

With limited exceptions, the head of each agency is instructed to designate an agency official as its Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO) to “oversee the implementation of regulatory reform initiatives and policies to ensure that agencies effectively carry out regulatory reforms, consistent with applicable law.”

Each agency is also directed to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force that includes the RRO and a number of other designated officials. The Regulatory Reform Task Forces are instructed to evaluate “existing regulations” as defined in Executive Order 13771 (see Weekly Alert ¶  32  02/02/2017, which was subsequently clarified by the interim guidance at Weekly Alert ¶  1  02/16/2017) and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, consistent with applicable law.

RIA observation: The interim guidance mentioned above appeared to largely except IRS regs from Executive Order 13771, which did not itself contain any sort of carve-out. It is unclear from the language of the new executive order whether that carve-out applies and whether IRS regs will be subject to this new executive order.

In particular, each Regulatory Reform Task Force is instructed to attempt to identify regulations that eliminate jobs, are outdated, impose costs that exceed benefits, or meet other criteria set out in the executive order.

The agencies will be required to measure and report their progress “in achieving the President’s directives.”

Upon the request of an agency head, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) may waive compliance with the executive order if the OMB Director determines that the agency generally issues very few or no regulations (as defined in Executive Order 13771).

This executive order is the latest in the Trump Administration’s efforts at deregulation, which have included, among other things, a regulatory freeze (Weekly Alert ¶  5  01/26/2017), implementation of a “2-for-1” rule which requires two existing regulations to be cut for each new one (Executive Order 13771, Weekly Alert ¶  32  02/02/2017), and a re-examination of the Department of Labor’s “fiduciary rule” (Weekly Alert ¶  5  02/09/2017).

In remarks at the signing of the executive order, President Trump described the order is “one of many ways we’re going to get real results when it comes to removing job-killing regulations and unleashing economic opportunity.”

Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda (Feb. 24, 2017).

White House Press Release, “President Trump Cuts Through More Red Tape” (Feb. 24, 2017).

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