Trump on Eliminating Federal Regulations: ‘We Aimed for 2-for-1 … We Hit 22-for-1’

By Melanie Arter | December 15, 2017 | 2:08pm EST
President Donald Trump (Screenshot of White House video)

( – President Donald Trump announced Thursday that within the first 11 months of his presidency, his administration “cancelled or delayed over 1,500 planned regulatory actions – more than any previous president by far.”

“Earlier this year, we set a target of adding zero new regulatory costs onto the American economy.  Today, I'm proud to announce that we beat our goal by a lot.  Instead of adding costs, as so many others have done -- and other countries, frankly, are doing, in many cases, and it's hurting them -- for the first time in decades, we achieved regulatory savings.  Hasn't happened in many decades.  We blew our target out of the water,” he said.

“Within our first 11 months, we cancelled or delayed over 1,500 planned regulatory actions -- more than any previous president by far, and you see the results when you look at the stock market, when you look at the results of companies, and when you see companies coming back into our country,” Trump said.

The president not only fulfilled his campaign promise of imposing a two-for-one rule on new federal regulations, he exceeded it, eliminating 22 regulations for every one new federal regulation.

“And instead of eliminating two old regulations, for every one new regulation we have eliminated 22 -- 22 -- that's a big difference.  We aimed for two for one, and, in 2017, we hit twenty-two for one,” the president said.

Trump said the “ever-growing maze” of federal regulations has cost the United States “trillions and trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, countless American factories, and devastated many industries, but all that has changed the day I took the oath of office.”

“We've begun the most far-reaching regulatory reform in American history.  We've approved long-stalled projects like the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines. We're cutting years of wasted time and money out of the permitting process for vital infrastructure projects. We're scrapping and really doing a job in getting rid of the job-killing regulations that threatened our autoworkers and have devastated their jobs over the years, but they're all moving back,” he said.

“We're lifting restrictions on American energy, and we've ended the war on coal. We have clean coal -- beautiful, clean coal, another source of energy,” the president added.

Trump also challenged his cabinet members “to find and remove every single outdated, unlawful, and excessive regulations currently on the books.”

To illustrate his point about excessive federal regulations, he held up a flow chart to illustrate how long the process is for permitting infrastructure.

“For example, the current process for permitting infrastructure is unacceptably long. This chart -- I love this chart -- I showed this chart two months ago. Chris -- Chris Liddell -- hold that up, Chris.  Chris is not tall enough for this chart, neither is anybody else,” the president said.

“This is the process that you had to go through to get permits for a highway, or a roadway. You had to go through this process and it would take many years -- many, many years -- right, Chris? And you had to go through nine different agencies, make 16 different decisions, under 29 different laws. It would take from 10 to 20 years -- in some cases, longer than that. And by the time you finished, you probably gave up,” he said.

Trump said he wants to streamline that process to one year.

“We want to take that process down to maybe one year. We have it down to two. We maybe bring it down to one year, and, by the way, if the highway or the road is not good, we're going to reject it. We're not to going to approve everything. We're going to reject it, but for the most part -- generally speaking, it's a good thing, not a bad thing,” he said.

The federal code has ballooned since 1960 from about 20,000 pages to over 185,000, the president pointed out before cutting a ribbon to symbolize his administration’s efforts to return the federal government to pre-1960 level regulations.

“And beside this, you can see another really vivid illustration of the monumental task we face. In 1960, there were approximately 20,000 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations. Today, there are over 185,000 pages. So you take a look at that and I assume that this is today.  This is 1960.  look at that, and I assume that this is today.  This is 1960.  We're going to cut a ribbon because we're getting back below the 1960-level, and we’ll be there fairly quickly,” he said.


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