One Month Out: A One-In, Two-Out Program Status Report

From: American Action Forum

Dan Goldbeck


Overall, the Administration is well on its way to meeting, and even exceeding, the EO’s FY 2017 goal. Most of the agencies have not published actions with quantifiable economic estimates. However, if the goal under EO 13,771 is to get to net annual costs “no greater than zero” by the end of the fiscal year, then agencies doing nothing clearly still achieves that goal. Across the various agencies, two of the actions included were regulatory actions that, per agency claims, impose only de minimis costs. If those actions are excluded, the cumulative deregulatory/regulatory action ratio exceeds two to one.

While there has been a sparse level of activity on an agency-by-agency basis, cumulatively executive agencies have essentially achieved a one-in, two-out flow while banking $645 million in net annual savings. The vast majority of these savings come from CRA rescissions, but even on a purely administrative level, savings from deregulatory actions exceed new regulatory costs by more than two to one. The two de minimis rules bring annual costs of $7.7 million and $282,000, respectively, and thus barely affect the overall tally. However, it is curious that the Department of Health and Human Services claimed de minimis status on the former since its impact is greater than all but one regulatory action and three deregulatory actions. OMB’s guidance does not give an explicit de minimis threshold, thus it is difficult to discern whether the relevant agencies properly categorized these rules.

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