On Jan. 30, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order (EO) intended to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses. The EO directs federal agencies to repeal at least two regulations for every new regulation. Moreover, the EO places federal agencies on a “regulatory budget,” meaning the costs of new regulations will need to be offset by repealing other regulations. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 (ending Sept. 30, 2017), the total incremental costs of new regulations must be no greater than zero.
Subsequent to issuance of the EO, the White House released an interim guidance document explaining how federal agencies should implement the order, at least for FY 2017. According to the guidance, the EO only applies to new rules or interpretive guidance issued on or after Jan. 20 that are deemed “significant regulatory actions.” A regulation is “significant” if it would: (1) have an annual economic effect of $100 million or more; (2) create a conflict with another federal agency action; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlement programs, user fees or loan programs; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues.