Will Joe Biden Destroy Trump’s Legacy of Deregulation?
The most positive aspect of President Donald Trump’s legacy is his administration’s success at slowing the growth of federal regulations. It’s also perhaps his most fragile.
During his first days in office, incoming President Joe Biden is planning to sign “dozens of executive orders, presidential memoranda” which will involve rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, expanding wilderness protections, and moving the country toward a 100 percent “clean energy” economy.
In order to facilitate this flurry of presidential activity, Biden will also need to take aim at Trump’s executive orders that attempted to account for the costs of new regulations and limited the number of new rules which could be imposed.
“The priority of the Trump administration has been to reduce regulatory burdens,” says James Broughel, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. “The Biden administration is going to want to issue lots of new regulations. That’s a near certainty. We’re going from an era where reducing burdens was the goal to where burdens will be added in the name of achieving certain social goals.”
The guiding light of the Trump administration’s deregulatory efforts was Executive Order 13771. That 2017 order instituted the famous rule that regulators issue two deregulatory actions for every new regulatory action. It also created a system of accounting for the costs of new regulations and the cost savings of deregulatory actions. This was used to give federal departments regulatory budgets that limited the costs of new regulations they could impose, and often required them to find regulatory savings.
Using this measurement of regulatory savings, the Trump administration has been modestly successful at its goal of d
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