What White House deregulation guidance covers and what it doesn’t

 

What White House deregulation guidance covers and what it doesn’t

February 8, 2017 (Photo Credit: Paul Sancya/AP)
The Trump administration’s Feb. 7 guidance for its “one-in, two-out” regulation executive order detailed how agencies can apply the measure to pursue cost offsets and savings between now and the end of the fiscal year.

Related: Read the guidance

For agency leaders looking to gauge how the executive order will affect their bottom line, here’s a look at what’s covered:

Which regulations are affected?

The guidance applies to “significant regulatory actions” issued between Jan. 20 and Sept. 30 of this year. Significant regulatory actions are defined by a Clinton-era executive order as:

Having an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or state, local or tribal governments or communities.

Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency.

Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof.

Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the president’s priorities, or the principles set forth in this executive order.

Groups sue to block president’s government regulations order

The specifications of which rules apply will play a key role in the Trump administration’s defense of the order in a lawsuit filed on Feb. 8 by a trio of advocacy groups claiming it unconstitutionally impacts environmental regulations.

“This order imposes a false choice between clean air, clean water, safe food and other environmental safeguards,” the Natural Resources Defense Council Rhea Suh said regarding the lawsuit.

What’s not covered?

The guidance does not apply its coverage to any regulation that affects only other federal agencies; have military, national security or foreign service implementations; or are related to agency organization, management or personnel rules.

Income transfer regulations — such as Pell grants or Medicare spending — are also not covered by the Trump order, unless they impose rules on non-federal entities, in which case agencies can consult with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for further guidance.

The order is also limited to agencies required to submit regulatory actions to OIRA for review. Independent agencies are not covered under the rule, but are still encouraged to pursue cost-saving deregulation.

Federal Times
Trump’s ‘one-in, two-out’ regulation rule could mean big savings

What can be waived?

The guidance states that, “Emergencies addressing critical health, safety or financial matters or for some other compelling reason, may qualify for a waiver from some or all of the requirements of Section 2.”

This waiver also could provide agencies with a valid avenue to exempt several regulations, much like the exemptions of the recent federal hiring freeze. Agencies can also shift cost savings from one component to another.

The Jan. 30 order aims to make agencies pursue a zero net cost strategy, where the incremental costs of applying a new regulation is offset by the deregulation of two other rules.

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