President Trump signed an executive order in February 2017 stating that federal agencies must eliminate two regulations for each new one issued. Additionally, agencies must curtail costs by ensuring that the new regulation is cost neutral and equals the cost of the two eliminated regulations, thus not creating new costs within the 2017 fiscal year.
The broad and strong language of the executive order has been met by mixed reactions. The American Chemistry Council came out and considered the step a positive one, stating that “in order for this opportunity to be fully realized, we need a sound regulatory landscape that allows the industry to grow and thrive.” The US Chamber of Commerce praised Mr Trump “for fulfilling the campaign’s promise to take on the regulatory juggernaut that is limiting economic growth, choking small business and putting people out of work."
However, representatives from NGO's such as Public Citizen and the Environmental Defense Fund are concerned about the broad and far reaching scope of this order without a clear path forward. Numerous questions remain around topics such as how regulations will be deemed unnecessary and what type of costs will be factored into these calculations.
Representative Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey) quickly denounced the executive order, stating that, “Arbitrarily requiring the elimination of regulations, without review on a case-by-case basis, is a sloppy and ineffective way to govern. While it is possible for Democrats and Republicans to work together to find regulations that may be unnecessary, it is irresponsible for the Trump administration to call for the reduction of two possibly unrelated regulations, when a new regulation is enacted."
With unclear and nonspecific implications at this point, Health Care Without Harm and our partners continue to follow developments with regards to the environmental health and safety regulations that are important to our members.