With The Media Distracted, Trump Quietly Continues Slashing The Number Of Regulations

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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President Donald Trump has cut the federal regulatory burden to levels that took the Reagan administration years to achieve, according to a new report.

A report by the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) found the Trump administration cut the number of pages in the Federal Register 32 percent in the first nine months of this year. It took former President Ronald Reagan several years to cut that many pages of regulations.

“President Trump compared to his predecessors is—so far—the least regulatory president of all,” CEI’s director of technology studies Clyde Wayne Crews wrote in an updated report on Trump’s deregulatory effort.

Crews reported the Trump administration has also cut the number of new regulations issued this year 18 percent from the end of the Obama administration. Included in that is a 58 percent decrease in “significant” rules that come with a $100 million or greater price tag.

“As we continue to watch the president’s progress on his economic priorities, it’s interesting to compare Trump with previous presidents, namely Ronald Reagan,” Crews wrote. “Under Reagan, both regulations and Federal Register pages dropped more than one-third. So far, Trump has reduced the flow of regulation even more.”

Upon taking office, Trump promised get rid of 70 percent of federal regulations. The president signed an executive order asking federal agencies to cut two existing regulations for every new proposed.

A coalition of left-leaning groups sued Trump in February, asking the court to overturn the executive order to repeal two regulations for every new one issued.

The groups argued the order would “block or force the repeal of regulations needed to protect health, safety, and the environment, across a broad range of topics – from automobile safety, to occupational health, to air pollution, to endangered species.”

As part of the order, federal agencies created task forces to identify regulations ripe for repeal. The administration has repealed hundreds of Obama-era regulations, and delayed or halted progress on regulations in the pipeline.

“They are down 28 percent compared to the corresponding time frame from Obama’s final year. Trump: 1241, Obama: 1737,” Crews wrote of proposed federal rules.

“Note that Trump’s ‘significant’ proposed rules are drastically below any predecessor. They are down 77 percent compared to Obama. Trump: 65, Obama: 290,” Crews wrote.

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