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Trump Orders Creation of Regulatory Reform Squads

President Donald Trump Friday issued an executive order furthering his regulatory reform agenda by requiring every federal agency to create a "regulatory Reform Task Force" and designate a "regulatory reform officer" to eliminate "red tape" and ferret out regulations for repeal or modification.

That does not appear to apply to independent agencies, like the Federal Communications Commission (a spokesperson was checking to make sure at press time), but FCC chairman Ajit Pai is already on the record wanting to take a weed whacker to regulations he sees as unnecessary or counterproductive and has already taken steps to repeal and modify some of the decisions of his predecessor, Tom Wheeler.

The President's "red tape" executive order will require most federal agencies to identify and eliminate regs and measure and report on their progress, though the heads of the agencies can seek a waiver from the requirements if the director "determines that the agency generally issues very few or no regulations." 

The task forces will be on the lookout to ax or reform regs that: 

1) "eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation;"

2) "are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;"

3) "impose costs that exceed benefits;"

4) "create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies;"

5) "are inconsistent with the requirements of section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note), or the guidance issued pursuant to that provision, in particular those regulations that rely in whole or in part on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or that are insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility; or"

6) "derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified."

The White House says Obama Administration regs have cost taxpayers nearly a trillion dollars ($873 billion).

Republicans in the House and Senate are looking to do some regulatory reforming themselves, rolling back regs using the Congressional Review Act, including potentially the FCC’s broadband privacy framework adopted last fall against the objections of FCC Republicans.