Trump ‘one for two’ order seeks to cap, reduce regulations

Sets offsets on costs associated with new, proposed regulations

An executive order that any new, proposed federal regulation would have to be offset by repeal of “at least two” existing regulations may not apply to independent agencies — such as most of the federal financial institution regulators — according to reports surfacing this afternoon..

The order, signed by President Donald Trump early today, notes that certain categories of regulation will be exempt from the new policy, including those dealing with the military and national security, or those dealing with an agency’s organization, management or personnel.

Although the order does not specifically exempt federal financial institution regulatory agencies, reports this afternoon indicated that independent agencies are exempt.

According to Reuters this afternoon, the White House confirmed that the order does not apply to independent agencies.

Also, under the order, the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would have the power to exempt any other category of regulations.

Additionally, according to the order (titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”), for fiscal year 2017 “the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero,” the order states, unless otherwise required by law or “consistent with advice provided in writing by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (Director),” the order states.

For fiscal years 2018 and beyond, the order states, each agency is required to identify — for each regulation that increases incremental cost — the offsetting regulations that will be repealed, and “provide the agency’s best approximation of the total costs or savings associated with each new regulation or repealed regulation.”

The order also requires that any new, incremental costs associated with new regulations must be offset by eliminating existing costs associated with at least two prior regulations.

The order directs the OMB Director (who, if approved by the Senate, will be Trump nominee Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.), to provide the heads of agencies with guidance on implementing the order. The guidance, the order states, shall include processes for standardizing the measurement and estimation of regulatory costs; standards for determining what qualifies as new and offsetting regulations; standards for determining the costs of existing regulations that are considered for elimination; processes for accounting for costs in different fiscal years; methods to oversee the issuance of rules with costs offset by savings at different times or different agencies; and emergencies and other circumstances that might justify individual waivers of the requirements of this section.

The OMB director may also consider phasing in and updating the requirements, the order states.

White House Order: Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs