OMB Releases Fall 2017 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions

The Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), in conjunction with the U.S. General Services Administration’s Regulatory Information Service Center and the 60 Cabinet, Executive, and Independent agencies across the Federal Government, released yesterday the Trump Administration’s semi-annual Current Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.

The report provides an update on actions administrative agencies will take in both the near and long term. The agenda amends and eliminates what the administration calls “regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete,” so that the administration can “promote economic growth and innovation and protect individual liberty.”

These efforts are in line with President Trump’s Executive Orders 13771 and 13777, which require agencies to reduce regulatory burdens and enforce regulatory reform initiatives. Given the Administration’s focus on deregulatory efforts, the Regulatory Agenda includes withdrawing and reconsidering numerous regulatory actions, as well as identifying newly anticipated deregulatory actions that emerged from reviews that are underway. Agencies have committed to focusing on the costs and benefits of each regulatory and deregulatory action, while “prioritizing the maximization of net benefits of regulations.” Building on OIRA’s summer announcement, the Unified Agenda recognizes that reform will take time and require “rigorous analysis, public input, and a careful consideration of a variety of important legal and social values,” and seeks to provide more information and transparency about agency-proposed regulatory actions.

The most notable developments include:

  • Agencies plan to finalize three deregulatory actions for every new regulatory action in fiscal year 2018, more than the 2:1 commitment previously announced.
  • Agencies withdrew, delayed, or streamlined 1579 planned regulatory actions.
  • Agencies withdrew 635 regulations from the Unified Agenda, 469 in the Spring 2017 Update to Agenda and 166 in the Fall 2017 Agenda.
  • Agencies reconsidered 244 active actions by reclassifying them as inactive, allowing further review, 166 in the Spring 2017 Update to Agenda and 78 in the Fall 2017 Agenda.
  • Agencies reconsidered 700 active actions by reclassifying them as long-term, allowing further review, 401 in the Spring 2017 Update to Agenda, and 299 in the Fall 2019 Agenda.
  • The Administration’s comprehensive regulatory reform efforts have required significant changes to the regulations database.
  • The Federal regulatory database identifies for the first time whether regulations are “net regulatory” or “deregulatory.”
  • For transparency purposes, the Administration released earlier this year a list of previously planned regulatory actions, and the inactive list will continue to be available in a searchable format.