Not long after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump began taking action on three major reforms — health care, taxes and regulations. So far, the first one hasn’t fared so well, and while he’s pressing ahead on all three policy initiatives, the jury’s still out on how much can be accomplished this year.
Trump’s deregulatory tear started in earnest a month into his administration when he proclaimed that his goal was to cut regulations by as much as 75%, and called on federal agency heads to toe that line.
First came an executive order in late February requiring all federal agencies to appoint a regulatory reform officer to chair a regulatory reform task force in order to “alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens.”
That order came just weeks after Trump told federal agencies to propose deleting two regulations for each new one they issue, and promised that he’d do “a big number” on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
“We have to knock out two regulations for every new regulation,” Trump said in issuing the order, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.”
Justin Schardin, director of the financial regulatory reform initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, noted that while Congress has already overturned several regulations through the Congressional Review Act, the financial regulatory agencies have “a lot of authority — without congressional action — to reinterpret Dodd-Frank or otherwise pare back regulations.”
If Trump wants to pursue that route of deregulation via agency heads, “he’ll need to fill some of the 14 vacant positions at those agencies. So far, he’s only made one nomination,” Jay Clayton to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.