As promised and expected, President Donald J. Trump has issued an Executive Order demanding that for every new regulation issued, at least two prior ones must be identified for elimination.

“For fiscal year 2017, which is in progress, the heads of all agencies are directed that the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero, unless otherwise required by law or consistent with advice provided in writing by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget,” the Executive Order says. Any agency eliminating existing costs associated with prior regulations “shall do so in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable law.”

The OMB’s director is tasked with providing agency heads with guidance to address: processes for standardizing the measurement and estimation of regulatory costs; standards for determining what qualifies as new and offsetting regulations; standards for determining the costs of existing regulations that are considered for elimination; processes for accounting for costs in different fiscal years; methods to oversee the issuance of rules with costs offset by savings at different times or different agencies; and emergencies and other circumstances that might justify individual waivers of the requirements.

The Executive Order also requires agency heads, starting in Fiscal Year 2018, to provide their “best approximation of the total costs or savings associated with each new regulation or repealed regulation.” Unless otherwise required by law, no regulation shall be issued by an agency if it was not included on the most recent version or update of the published Unified Regulatory Agenda.

During the Presidential budget process, the OMB director is instructed to provide regulators with a total amount of incremental costs that will be allowed for each agency in issuing new regulations and repealing regulations for the next fiscal year. 

“No regulations exceeding the agency's total incremental cost allowance will be permitted in that fiscal year, unless required by law or approved in writing by the Director,” the Jan. 30 order says.