President Donald Trump signed executive orders on Wednesday afternoon that are focused on taking much of the sting out of what conservatives believe is an out-of-control administrative state.
The orders will limit the use of a tool the Trump administration believes short-circuits the rule-making process. They also focus on federal guidance, which agencies can use to explain how they intend to implement policy. The Wall Street Journal reported on the orders Tuesday.
The orders are expected to significantly reduce the impact a key element of the country’s regulatory infrastructure has on businesses and Americans, according to Judd Deere, a White House spokesman.
Trump is signing “two EO’s protecting the rights of American families and small businesses against bureaucratic abuse as he continues to hold government agencies accountable to the taxpayers,” Deere told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement ahead of the order.
“Many Americans learn of the rule only when agents come knocking on their door,” Trump said on Wednesday at the White House describing federal guidance rules. “Americans will no longer be subject to hidden rules.”
The president has promoted for a long time what he believes to be the deep state, or the idea that agencies often make their own rules without oversight from Congress.
The new order gives the American people the opportunity to express their opinion before being targeted with fines and regulations. It will be the agency’s duty to inform Americans of any new rules that might affect their lives and businesses, the president noted.
Federal guidance can be created quickly, unlike regulations, which are subject to lengthy reviews.
Critics have often cited examples where past administrations used federal guidance for end-around policy creation.
One example of this is when the Treasury Department delayed the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate in 2013 and the tax penalty for non-compliance without public comment.
Trump’s decision to sign the order comes as the Democrats begin their impeachment inquiry into the president. The inquiry is based on a whistleblower complaint charging that Trump asked Ukraine to probe former Vice President Joe Biden for allegedly urging the country to fire a prosecutor who at one time was conducting an investigation related to a company with ties to Biden’s son.
When President Donald Trump signed the pair of executive orders on Wednesday to limit the use of memos, letters, and other federal guidance from agencies, he said they represented an unchecked “pernicious kind of regulation imposed by unaccountable bureaucrats.”
Conservatives and business groups have complained that the agencies use the process to establish “stealth regulation” that circumvents Congress and avoids public scrutiny.
“Guidance has frequently been used to subject U.S. citizens and businesses to arbitrary” enforcement actions, Trump said at a White House signing ceremony.
Credit: Daily Caller