President Trump has signed an executive order requiring agencies within the Executive Branch to eliminate two existing regulations for each one they implement. But aside from adhering to that policy, his agency chiefs are stepping up to the plate and rolling back many of the regulations created under the Obama administration. In the crosshairs are regulations that have proven burdensome for business owners and those that simply expand the power of the federal government without sufficient justification.
At the Department of Interior, Health and Human Services, and the EPA, Trump’s Cabinet members are already taking steps to roll back regulations, above and beyond what may be coming from Congress and the White House.
Fox News reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has already slashed a few Obama-era rules, including a federal ban on lead bullets and fishing tackle that was implemented with animal rights in mind. Zinke said the rule had no basis in existing legal requirements, a decision applauded by gun-rights groups like the NRA.
At the EPA, Secretary Scott Pruitt is reportedly planning to lift an Obama administration rule requiring cars and trucks to meet strict gas mileage standards through the middle of next decade. Pruitt and President Trump have also announced their intention to scrap Obama’s Clean Power Plan, a greenhouse gas initiative that put significant burden on several state economies while accomplishing little in the way of its goals.
And at HHS, Tom Price is planning to do a throughout audit of the department to see which health care regulations can be snipped while Republicans battle it out over Obamacare on Capitol Hill.
While some Republicans are more excited about this deregulation process than others, the agency heads agree that the important thing is to return regulatory power back to elected officials. More pressing than any one regulation is the need to get federal agencies out of the habit of modifying, changing, and sometimes creating laws without congressional oversight.
That said, the regulations themselves are not to be understated. Individually and collectively, they have stymied economic progress for long enough. Which rules exist for the good of the country? Which ones exist to further the liberal agenda? Which ones are simply there to justify an agency’s existence? These questions can’t be answered until we have an administration with the courage to poke around and find out.
So far, it looks like we have that administration.