On March 6, the acting administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) sent guidance to agencies telling them to pay close attention to the executive order signed by President Trump in January directing agencies to eliminate two existing rules for each new rule put in place. (See WICs article, “Trump Directs Agencies to Roll Back Two Regulations for Every One Issued,” February 6, 2017.) Agencies are required to submit plans to be included in the semi-annual regulatory agenda later this month. The expectation is that the net incremental cost for FY2017 should be “no greater than zero”, in addition to eliminating regulations.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney said in an interview that the OMB is prepared to “push the limit” with the Congressional Review Act CRA), which permits Congress to roll back rules passed shortly before a new administration. The CRA allows Congress a 60-legislative-day “look back” period during which they can repeal a regulation. Typically, the CRA will not come into play except when an administration changes, as the Congressional action is subject to a presidential veto. Under the current circumstances, the Republican-controlled Congress sees the CRA as an effective tool for rolling back some of the Obama administration’s more recent regulatory actions.