Skip to main content

Trump, Congress Slash Regulations on Businesses

This week, Republicans, along with President Trump, are moving to free businesses from what they see as regulatory burdens.

Since his campaign, President Trump has pledged to reduce regulations by 75 percent, and he took his first step toward that Monday.

The president signed an executive order, which mandates agencies remove two regulations for each one added. Surrounded by small business owners in the Oval Office, the president characterized the move as the “biggest such act our country has ever seen,” according to reports.

Trump said current regulations are redundant and this order will go a long way toward addressing that.

“If you have a regulation you want, number one we’re not going to approve it because it’s already been approved probably in 17 different forms,” he’s quoted as saying by The Washington Post. “But if we do, the only way you have a chance is we have to knock out two regulations for every new regulation. So if there’s a new regulation, they have to knock out two. But it goes way beyond that.”

The president asserted that his action will aid both large and small businesses, but that small organizations will get the biggest boon, given they often don’t have the personnel or budget to manage compliance issues.

Immediately following the signing, questions surfaced about how the order will work in practice and whether it’s even logical given that it’s not the number of regulations that matters, rather the potential impact a regulation may have on a business’s bottom line that should be of top concern.

Environmental groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists also wonder about the order’s legality. How, they wonder, would the EPA choose between regulations that have been put in place for public safety?

While pundits grapple with today’s executive order, the Republicans are also looking at ways to reduce regulations. The New York Times reports House GOP members plan to apply the little used Congressional Review Act this week to undo recent Obama-era rules.

Five regulations, in particular, are in their sights, and among them are environmental regulations concerning methane gas and coal mine operations.

To pass, these actions require approval by a majority of both chambers of Congress. The Congressional Review Act has only been used successfully once since it was enacted in 1996. With a Republican-controlled House and Senate, however, it’s likely they will achieve the numbers to roll back these regulations.