Shortly after taking office, President Donald Trump issued an executive order instructing federal bureaucracies to cut two rules for every new regulation they issued.
Since the, a number of additional executive actions have further cut red tape, leaving the Trump administration to issue the fewest new regulations on record.
While the total number of pages of the Federal Register —the ledger that lists government regulations—grew to 72,564 pages by Dec. 31, the number of rules hit historic lows.
And, according to Clyde Wayne Crews, a regulation expert and policy vice president at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Federal Register published 2,964 final rules, The Epoch Times reported.
“This is the lowest count since records started being kept in the mid-1970s,” he wrote in Forbes.
“It is a notable achievement that all three of the lowest-ever annual rule counts belong to Trump. This an even more significant development given that some of Trump’s ‘rules’ are rules written to get rid of or replace other rules,” he noted.
Trump issued Executive Order 13771 on January 30, 2017, just 10 days after his inauguration. In addition to directing federal agencies to cut two rules for every new one issued, it also imposed a regulatory budget requiring that each agency impose zero or negative new net costs.
“It is important that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process,” Trump noted in the order.
Philip Wallach, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, argued in an op-ed for the National Review that while Trump’s deregulatory efforts were a great start, there is more that needs to be done.
“The old order has proven itself more than capable of withstanding this president’s antiregulatory efforts,” Wallach wrote.
“Given three years of experience under Trump, those of us who wish to see America’s administrative state brought to heel must recognize what a long and difficult slog awaits us.”