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White House Clarifies Executive Order on Reducing Regulations

Apr 12, 2017

In February, President Donald Trump issued an executive order requiring federal agencies and executive departments to identify at least two existing regulations for repeal whenever a new regulation is proposed or finalized. This two-for-one order also required costs for any new regulations to be offset with reductions from the rules that were eliminated.

Last week, the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which operates within the Office of Management and Budget, released updated guidance for federal agencies to use when implementing the executive order. The guidance clarifies the types of “significant” regulations that will be affected and explains how agencies should set priorities for deciding which requirements to repeal or revise. Rules related to military, natural security and foreign affairs remain exempt from the order.

The guidance specifically directs agencies to identify regulations that:

  • Eliminate jobs or inhibit job creation;
  • Are outdated, unnecessary or ineffective;
  • Impose costs that exceed benefits;
  • Create serious inconsistencies or interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies;
  • Are inconsistent with the requirements of the Data Quality Act, which governs the quality and reproducibility of information; and
  • Are derived from other presidential directives that have been rescinded or substantially modified.

In comments recently submitted to the Department of Commerce, IDFA identified a variety of regulations that are unduly burdensome to the dairy industry and asked the administration to address them.

The guidance, which is presented in a question-and-answer format, is available here.

Beginning in fiscal year 2018, OMB will set a cap for each agency that reflects the total net increase in costs for new and repealed regulations or OMB may require a reduction in net costs. Additional guidance on these caps also will be provided.

For more information, contact Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at