Trump Picks Icahn As Special Regulatory Advisor To The President

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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President-elect Donald Trump announced that billionaire investor Carl Icahn will serve as special advisor to the president on regulatory reform Wednesday afternoon.

Trump’s pick signals he is angling to move ahead on the many deregulatory promises he made on the campaign trail.  Trump pledges to deregulate the energy industry, “dismantle” the 2,300 page Dodd-Frank Act, and to put a moratorium on any new regulations when he takes office.

Icahn, a man who has made billions investing and someone who publicly denounces regulations on business, was one of the first major figures to endorse the president-elect.

The business mogul praised Republican Trump’s economic plan in early August and pledged his vote. He warned that if Trump lost the election, it would be “more of the same in the last eight years,” a time he characterized as “government at war with business.” At the time, Icahn noted his distaste for the hyper-regulatory environment in the U.S., saying that executives “rightly so are afraid to invest” in new equipment, employees, and means of production due to fear of stricter regulation or more government intervention. (RELATED: Billionaire Backs Donald Trump…’If We Don’t Win…We Have A Major Problem With Our Economy’)

Icahn, like Trump, has expressed his disapproval for Dodd-Frank, telling Reuters in 2010 that the legislation went “too far.”

Trump thinks that given Icahn’s nearly 60 years in business, he has a unique insights into the business world that will allow him to “shed job-killing regulations that stifle economic growth,” according to a press release from the Presidential Transition Team.

“Carl was with me from the beginning and with his being one of the world’s great businessmen, that was something I truly appreciated,” President-elect Trump said to reporters. “He is not only a brilliant negotiator, but also someone who is innately able to predict the future especially having to do with finances and economies. His help on the strangling regulations that our country is faced with will be invaluable.”

“I am proud to serve President-elect Trump as a special advisor on regulatory reform,” said Mr. Icahn. “Under President Obama, America’s business owners have been crippled by over $1 trillion in new regulations and over 750 billion hours dealing with paperwork. It’s time to break free of excessive regulation and let our entrepreneurs do what they do best: create jobs and support communities.”

Icahn will be serving the president-elect on an individual capacity, meaning he does not have to extricate himself from his numerous business interests. He has already been fairly active in his role, interviewing candidates for chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, the WSJ reports.

“President-elect Trump is serious about helping American families, and regulatory reform will be a critical component of making America work again,” Icahn said.

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