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Trump Administration Changes the Face of Federal Rulemaking

Jun 15, 2017
(L-R): Clay Hough, IDFA Senior Group Vice President and General Counsel, and Randy Green, Principal of Watson Green LLC

There’s a new regulatory reform dynamic taking shape in Washington, and it’s ushering in a new climate of deregulation and giving industry stakeholders more opportunities to participate.  Those were the main takeaways from two sessions on Tuesday at IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP, held this week in Washington, D.C. The sessions covered the regulatory shifts under the Trump Administration and highlighted the growing influence that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has gained under President Trump.  

“We’ve moved from an administration friendly to regulations to one that isn’t,” said Randy Green, principal of Watson Green LLC, in the first session on regulatory shifts under new management. “That’s not to say that there won’t be regulations, but the bar is a lot higher.”

Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president and general counsel, agreed, but also noted that the slow pace of appointments has denied the administration the capacity to really gear up on its deregulatory agenda.  “The White House needs help in the departments and agencies and can’t be expected to carry all the water on thinning the regulatory overburden on industry that kills jobs and economic growth,” he said.

They also discussed President Trump’s 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.

OMB Takes Central Role

This change is revolutionizing both the pace and type of federal rulemaking in a non-traditional way, allowing OMB to play a central role, according to Jonathan Gledhill, president of the Policy Navigation Group and a former OMB policy analyst.

In his session, “What is the OMB and How Does It Influence Regulatory Policy,” Gledhill said the administration is using both old and new tools to circumvent problems in the regulatory process and open opportunities for change. The resulting landscape created by the administration is designed to motivate regulators to identify areas for reform and submit their future regulatory budgets to OMB.

Trimming existing regulations will be attractive in the short-term, he said. Rules that promote innovation also will become attractive to agencies, allowing stakeholders to take advantage, he added. 

For more information, contact Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and general counsel, at elyons@idfa.org.

 
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