President Trump Signs Executive Order Introducing Significant Changes into the Federal Regulatory Process

Editor’s Note: To learn more about regulatory budgets, read Towards a Regulatory Budget: A Working Paper on the Cost of Federal Regulation (1979).

From: Notice & Comment | A Blog from the Yale Journal on Regulation and the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice

by John Cooney


In essence, the Order establishes a Regulatory Budget process that will be run by the Director of OMB in parallel with OMB’s review of agency budget requests for appropriated funds. As with the appropriations process, OMB will determine in close consultation with the White House staff the appropriate level of the agency’s total incremental cost allowance and pass that “mark” back to the agency for implementation. The combination of OMB control of agency financial budgets on the front end and agency regulatory budgets on the back end will give the White House an unprecedented degree of control over agency regulatory activities.


To implement the Regulatory Budget process, the Order requires that all regulations an agency wishes to issue must be included in the most recent Unified Regulatory Agenda. This requirement will compel agencies to identify regulations they propose to promulgate or eliminate, plus their associated costs, well in advance, since the Unified Regulatory Agenda lists regulatory activities expected to take place over the following 12 months. An agency’s failure to include a rule in the Agenda will prevent it from issuing the regulation during that year, unless it is approved by the Director of OMB. Similarly, a regulation that would result in an agency exceeding its annual regulatory cost allowance may be issued only if required by law or approved by the Director.

Implications for Retrospective Review

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