President Orders “One-In, Two-Out” Regulatory Scheme
On January 30, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order adopting a “one-in, two-out” regulatory scheme in an effort to reign in costs associated with regulations and decrease onerous burdens on businesses. The Presidential mandate requires that if an executive department or agency proposes for notice and comment or promulgates a new regulation, it must identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed and eliminated. Heads of the various agencies and departments are directed to not increase the incremental costs of regulations greater than zero for the fiscal year of 2017, unless required by law or with written advice by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Further, for the fiscal year of 2018 and every fiscal year thereafter, the heads of each agency or department must identify in its annual regulatory cost submissions to the OMB each regulation that increases incremental costs, the offsetting existing regulations that were eliminated, and provide the agency’s best approximation of the total costs or saving associated with. Toward this end, the Director of the OMB must provide the heads of the agencies and departments with detailed guidance on how to implement the President’s directives.
This controversial new policy has already been met with opposition. One February 8, 2017, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Communications Workers of America and Public Citizen filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block the Executive Order. Plaintiffs argue the order exceeds the President’s authority and jeopardizes important health, safety and environmental protections while failing to consider the benefits of the regulations.