Trump Administration Slashes Through Red Tape, Cutting 16 Regulations for Every New One

The Trump administration is apparently cutting enough red tape to start a ticker tape parade. Tasked with a goal of cutting two regulations for every new one enacted, the administration has gone on a tear, slashing rules at a rate of 16 to one in its first six months.

Neomi Reo, the new administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget, has called this first half-year’s actions “a beginning” and noted that the OMB is going after the “regulatory state.”

The 2017 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, the OMB’s guidelines covering regulations, reiterates the administration’s commitment to reducing onerous burdens on businesses:

By amending and eliminating regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete, the Administration can promote economic growth and innovation and protect individual liberty.

Fulfilling longstanding principles to review and assess existing regulations, the Agenda includes the withdrawal and reconsideration of numerous regulatory actions. Agencies have committed to careful assessment of the costs and benefits of each regulatory and deregulatory action, and to prioritizing the maximization of net benefits of regulations. The Agenda recognizes that reform will take time and require rigorous analysis, public input, and careful consideration of a variety of important legal and social values. To this end, the Agenda provides greater information and transparency about regulatory actions proposed by agencies.

The Unified Agenda website reports that 860 regulations have been rolled back so far, cutting economically significant regulations (those with an impact of $100 million or more) by 50 percent. This will not only save the burden of the red tape, but printing costs will drop dramatically as well.

Much has been made of the efforts by Congress and Trump to cut regulations. The Competitiveness Enterprise Institute on Wednesday said that lots of red tape and paper will be cut by Trump. As an example, it said that the typical 97,000 pages printed in the Federal Register under former President Obama is likely to be cut by a third.

The Obama administration imposed $6.8 billion in economically significant regulations over the last five months of 2016. By contrast, the Trump administration has imposed no costs in new rules. The first five months of the Obama administration established $31 billion in new regulatory cost, compared to a $22 million savings after five months of the Trump administration.

Needless to say, this is a big win for the Trump White House and an even bigger win for taxpayers. Here’s hoping the red tape slicing will continue.


Trying to Regulate Airbnb Out of Existence Will Make Them Stronger

Hotel industry disruptor Airbnb is in big government and the hotel industry’s crosshairs. It was revealed earlier this year that these two forces plan to come together to root the multi-billion company out of existence. Here’s what was uncovered:

The plan was laid out in two separate documents that the organization presented to its board in November and January. In the documents, which The New York Times obtained, the group sketched out the progress it had already made against Airbnb, and described how it planned to rein in the start-up in the future.

The plan was a “multipronged, national campaign approach at the local, state and federal level,” according to the minutes of the association’s November board meeting.

The documents provide an inside look at how seriously the American hotel industry is taking Airbnb as a threat — and the extent to which it is prepared to take action against it.

Two recent examples in D.C. and in San Francisco (its home base) point to Airbnb winning the war of public opinion going forward.

A bill was brought by the D.C. City Council in January to stifle Airbnb’s presence in the nation’s capital. Here’s more on the proposed legislation and its consequences:

The bill, which Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffieproposed in January, would require hosts to register their listings with the city and would limit the number and duration of rental bookings for a given unit of housing. It would also set a 15-day annual cap on what it calls “vacation rentals” (those where hosts do not remain on site overnight), procedures for city inspectors to review listings, and fines of up to $7,000 for hosts who violate the measure’s provisions.

Anti-Airbnb forces like ShareBetter, a coalition of local politicians and members of the hotel establishment, have launched video campaigns to undermine their efforts under the guise of rallying for “affordable housing.” Even more cofounding is why would this D.C.-based group use an actress residing in New York to rally people to their cause? Here’s the ad:


In response to this, Airbnb shot back at ShareBetter with the following statement: “This ad is another example of ShareBetter and the Working Families Party doing the bidding of the hotel industry—attacking middle-class families who home-share to make ends meet, and travelers who depend on home-sharing to visit communities which lack hotels like those east of the Anacostia River.”

A similar situation recently plagued Airbnb in San Francisco, in which the company settled with the City by the Bay earlier this week. Here’s more on the settlement:

The legal settlement with the city over unregistered listings marks the end of a multiyear battle that pit affordable housing advocates and some local officials against home-sharing start-ups and the wider tech community. Ultimately, Airbnb and its co-defendant, HomeAway, conceded to many of the city’s demands, but also showed other start-ups that there is a payoff to flexing some legal muscle and going up against regulators.

Under the settlement, Airbnb agreed to build software that would automatically send the city the names and address of hosts who sign up locally. People who are already hosts have 8 months to register.

Cities like D.C. and SF may attempt to regulate Airbnb out of existence, but they won’t succeed. Market forces and positive public opinion of the company will continue to keep the company afloat.

Technology Writer Confuses Law and Regulation to Make Obama Sound Like a King

With the election of Donald Trump, the left has thrown such a temper tantrum that politics must now invade everything as they virtue signal in any and every capacity that the status quo is unacceptable. Sports becomes political. Food becomes political. Grocery shopping becomes political. Clothing becomes political. Technology becomes political.

I read a lot of technology websites and more and more have turned into political blogs filled with diatribes against the latest perceived injustice of the Trump administration and often using lots of fake news as the foundation. Look no further than technology blog Engadget, which is lamenting the GOP’s reversal of Obama era environmental protections.

What is so galling about this is that the author confuses law and regulation and treats it all as sacrosanct. Just review this bit:

With astonishing speed, US Republicans are set to strike down laws or vote on new bills that eliminate environmental protections for the air, streams and national parks. The measures are being proposed so quickly that it has been difficult for environmentalists and Democrats to muster opposition. Much of the Republican strategy depends on a little-used law called the Congressional Review Act, signed into power by Bill Clinton in the ’90s to prevent presidents from creating new laws on their way out of office.

Since Obama put some of the laws in place during the end of his term, the rule will let Congress strike them down without much fuss, and President Trump isn’t likely to veto those actions. “During a presidential transition when we’re transferring from one party to another party, that’s the only time when it really makes a difference,” energy lawyer Scott Segal told the Washington Post last year.

This is constitution 101. Presidents do not make laws. A President cannot “put … laws in place during the end of his term.” Only Congress can pass laws. What the Republicans are doing is removing last minute regulations the Obama Administration rushed through, often with little public input. The rules were mostly put in place due to aggressive lobbying by liberal environmentalist groups and the public comment period was often curtailed.

The Congressional Review Act is a law. It is a law that only applies to regulations. That law allows Congress to kill regulations created at the end of a Presidential term and the Senate filibuster rules do not apply. Yes, this complicates it further. A law is supreme. It must be passed in identical form by both houses of congress then signed into law by the President. Once a law is passed, a regulation is implemented by an executive agency or department on the authority of the President after a period of public review and input to direct and instruct the public how to carry out or comply with a law. A rule applies only to an agency, department, or house of congress and instructs that agency, department, or house of congress how to operate.

So the Congressional Review Act will be used to kill regulations and the Senate Democrats will not be able to filibuster the legislation because Senate rules preclude filibusters for Congressional Review Act legislation.

While I take it the author is not American, if you are going to write about the America legal/political structure the terminology does matter. Presidents cannot make laws and regulations can be changed even without congressional action. Congressional action just kills the regulation quickly and this particular law is used to kill last minute, agenda driven regulations that are frequently implemented without public input by lobbyist driven activists within administrations.

D.C. Hoagie Chain Unfairly Targeted for Promoting Small Business, Regulation Cuts

Washington, D.C. – based Taylor Gourmet – which specializes in hoagies and other delicious sandwich creations – is the latest target of leftists who hate seeing business leaders collaborating with President Trump to jumpstart the economy.

Here’s more from Washington Business Journal:

Taylor Gourmet co-owner Casey Patten took part in a White House photo op with President Donald Trump on Monday, and the meeting quickly led to calls on social media to boycott the local hoagie chain.

Patten, who co-founded Taylor Gourmet with partner Dave Mazza in 2008, was on hand as Trump signed an executive cutting regulations for small businesses. Photos show Patten standing next to Trump in the Oval Office while signing the order and shaking hands with the president in the Roosevelt Room.

Not surprisingly, certain angered customers took it to Twitter to express their outrage with Taylor Gourmet’s co-founder for taking part in this photo op.


Here’s the picture in question. Patten is on Trump’s right:

In response to some of the backlash, here’s Patten’s take:

Amazing! He has an open mind? Small business should be above politics and for fewer regulations, not more. However, Patten gave the follow-up statement to Washington City Paper to appease angered customers:

“Taylor Gourmet rejects any and all hate and/or discrimination against any human being. Yesterday, I attempted to affect change in a positive way by voicing my concerns for small businesses at The White House. To those who view this as wrong, I accept and respect you opinion. I believe change can be achieved through dialog and activism. I strongly reject any and all forms of hate and/or discrimination.”

Taylor Gourmet isn’t the first business to be caught in the Left’s crosshairs. Uber similarly faced criticism for failing to entangle itself in the refugee debate that has erupted. (Although its CEO Travis Kalanick said he will pledge $3 million to those affected by this executive order.) Chick-fil-A is also a constant target of boycotts from those on the opposite side of the aisle. Their crime? Having a Biblically-centered business model. The horror, the horror!

Even notable chef Jose Andres, a notorious Trump critic, said people should lay off Patten and Taylor Gourmet:

As a D.C. metro area resident, I find comfort in knowing that local businesses here actually want to see regulatory and tax reform. Why? Because they know firsthand the toll of burdensome regulations and fees. Small businesses comprise roughly half of the private workforce. Why shouldn’t they have a say in the economy? They are on the frontline supplying quality products and supplementing people’s livelihoods–unlike the government. It’s a shame the Left wants to bully businesses that don’t align with their worldview or those who put free enterprise first out of existence.

I’ll happily give Taylor Gourmet my business and you should too.

Trump Signs Executive Order

HUGE: President Trump Issues Regulatory Freeze

BREAKING NEWS: Shortly after being sworn into office on Friday, President Donald J. Trump put pen to paper and signed an Executive Order declaring an immediate freeze on any new Federal regulations. The Executive Order also directs federal agencies to do anything in their power to ease the regulatory burden on the public as it relates to Obamacare-related rules.

In anticipation of this order, federal agencies over the past few days have rushed to write as many new regulations as they could complete before Trump’s swearing in. According to The Hill, the Federal Register was “overwhelmed Thursday with nearly 1,500 pages worth of rules from federal agencies.”

This is a positive first step by Trump in reversing the many thousands of onerous federal regulations that have been strangling small businesses, entrepreneurs, and middle class workers across the nation. Recent regulations could prove fatal to many companies across the nation – regulations like the FDA’s takeover of the premium cigar industry, for example. Those regulations would treat single-ingredient, hand rolled premium cigars as if they were cigarettes, requiring small family boutique cigar shops to pay potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars per blend in FDA approval processes. These regulations are estimated to potentially destroy tens of thousands of jobs at small and family-owned businesses, but they are listed in the recent report compiled by the Republicans in the House among the regulations for Trump to consider abolishing in his first 100 days in office. I reached out to Glynn Loope, the Executive Director of Cigar Rights of America. Mr. Loope told me that they are “Hopeful that this is just beginning of a process that will roll back the current draconian rules that have been imposed on the premium cigar industry, and a serious step toward protecting the industry from future regulatory threats. Over 2,000 American small businesses, a central part of our trade relationship with Latin America, and a supply chain that spans from Florida to Pennsylvania depends upon it.”

Federal regulations were estimated to cost over $2 TRILLION dollars in 2012 alone, and typically consume about 21 percent of the average business’ payroll costs, according to a 2014 report by the National Association of Manufacturers.

Ending costly federal regulations have long been a main concern of small-government conservative Republicans and libertarians. This action by Trump on his very first day in office should encourage these groups, and bring them the first ray of hope after a very dark eight years.

Republicans Should Consider a Government Shutdown

It seems quite clear that the Obama Administration is going to ram through a bunch of major regulations prior to Trump taking office. Incoming administrations are limited in what they can do to reverse those regulations and Obama has 158 major regulations pending, with 88 at the final rule stage. The EPA is already rushing through regulations before Trump gets on the scene.

Once the rules are enacted, the only major recourse would be the Congressional Review Act (“CRA”). It allows an expedited process to reverse regulations through resolutions of disapproval and those resolutions cannot be filibustered under existing Senate rules.

The House of Representatives has passed a bill targeting new Obama regulations.

The bill would amend the Congressional Review Act to allow Congress to overturn many rules all at once by way of a resolution.

But this new legislation would be subject to a veto by President Obama and the Republicans will not have the votes to override that veto.

Until Obama’s last minute regulations are repealed (if at all) through the Congressional Review Act, businesses in the country would see crippling costs as they rush to implement Obama’s regulatory state to avoid paying fines and suffering penalties. And you would be foolish to have faith in the GOP to actually repeal all the regulations.

During a government shutdown, the Federal Register can only publish regulations that “are necessary to protect human life and safety or protect property.” Likewise, because the regulatory function of agencies like the EPA are not paid for by sources not subject to a lapse in appropriations, they would have to shut down their regulatory making processes.

If Congress cannot get the regulatory agencies to stop moving forward with the destructive and costly regulations rushing through Obama’s leftwing agenda at the end of his term, Republicans should shut down the government, which is only funded for another week or so.