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President issues executive order to enforce compliance with regulatory reform agenda

Posted in CFPB General

As part of his 100-day action plan, the President promised to institute a regulatory moratorium by requiring that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.  On January 30, 2017, the President signed an executive order that purported to accomplish this goal by requiring agencies to “identify” two rules to be revoked for every new rule they propose, and to find ways to offset costs of new rules.  Commentators have argued that this executive order is difficult to implement and fails to consider the benefits of new regulations.  On February 24, 2017, the President signed another executive order aimed at pressuring regulatory agencies to be less aggressive in promulgating new rules.

Under the President’s new order, the head of each agency must (1) designate an agency official as its Regulatory Reform Officer within 60 days, (2) establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force, and (3) measure its progress related to regulatory reform objectives.  Each Task Force must evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, consistent with applicable law, and in doing so, must seek input from State, local, and tribal governments, small businesses, consumers, non-governmental organizations, and trade associations.  Regulations that are identified as being outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective will be prioritized for regulatory offset pursuant to the January 30, 2017 Executive Order.

The executive order provides a deadline of 90 days for each Task Force to prepare a report detailing its progress toward implementing regulatory reform initiatives and identifying regulations for repeal, replacement, or modification.  Given this tight timeline, agency Task Forces will likely rely upon submitted comments.  Thus, industry participants should seek counsel regarding which regulations might be particularly susceptible to attack and hasten to prepare advocacy letters regarding such regulations.

Much like his previous order regarding regulatory reform, this order should not literally apply to independent agencies like the CFPB.  It is unclear whether the CFPB will voluntarily comply with the requirements of this order.