By Russ Vought | Fox News
When President Trump took office in 2017, he promised the American people that he would clean up Washington’s regulatory overreach. He pledged to make government accountable to the people. And he has made good on his promises by driving the largest deregulation effort since President Reagan took office over 30 years ago.
This has supported an unprecedented economic comeback—with over 6.4 million jobs created since President Trump’s election, the lowest unemployment rate in half of a century, and nearly 2.5 million people raising themselves out of poverty since 2016.
This week, the president will build on his success by signing two Executive Orders that will level the playing field for American families and small businesses and shine a light on the Federal bureaucracy that runs roughshod over American citizens.
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President Trump’s “Transparency and Fairness” Executive Order protects Americans against secret or unlawful bureaucratic interpretations of rules and guards against unfair or unexpected penalties for non-compliance. American families and entrepreneurs are not the enemy, and it is long past time D.C. stopped treating them as such.
Take this example: After one family started construction on a home in a subdivision in Idaho, the Environmental Protection Agency declared their property a federally protected wetland. The government ordered the family to restore the land or face a daily fine of up to $75,000. The family’s request for a hearing was rejected and the agency claimed its order could not even be challenged in court.
They were denied due process and threatened with fines of millions of dollars. This is not only un-American; it just does not make sense. American families and small businesses should not need law degrees to live their daily lives. They should be afforded the opportunity to understand and comply with a rule, and to have their side of the story considered by the agency, not get hauled into court with a costly surprise lawsuit.
Americans should expect that government of, by, and for the people will respect those very same people. This administration is committed to making government agencies transparent and accountable to the taxpayers. It is not only the right thing to do—it is a big boost to the economy, too.
President Trump’s “Bringing Guidance out of the Darkness” Executive Order stops agencies from skirting the laws that let the American public provide input on government rules that can limit their freedom. Too many agencies have found it easier to impose costly and excessive mandates through informal interpretations buried on their websites instead of going through the regular public review process Congress requires for agency rules.
Put simply, large government agencies often allow political agendas to improperly influence their interpretation of the law and how it applies to you. Worse still, they deny you a seat at the table when they do it.
These “guidance” documents and materials bypass the basic rights of Americans to have input into rules that impact their livelihoods. Rogue agencies have for too long used innocuous-sounding “guidance documents” to curtail the freedoms of American farmers, homeowners, and small businesses, to name only a few impacted groups.
In 2015, for example, the Department of Labor issued a blog post that reclassified many independent contractors as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
This so-called guidance created confusion, raised costs, and drastically multiplied legal liability for businesses. But the agency did not give businesses or the independent contractors with whom they work the opportunity to provide comment. The agency forced them to comply or face serious reprisal. Thankfully, this ill-conceived guidance was rescinded by the Trump Administration in June 2017.
The Trump administration wants to prevent such abuses of authority from happening again. Americans should expect that government of, by, and for the people will respect those very same people. This administration is committed to making government agencies transparent and accountable to the taxpayers. It is not only the right thing to do—it is a big boost to the economy, too.
Deregulation has real-dollar consequences for American families. Government-wide regulatory reform actions will save the average American household $3,100 in coming years. And benefits are already being felt across the economy—the Trump administration reduced regulatory costs by $33 billion in its first two years alone. In stark contrast, the Obama-Biden administration *increased* regulatory costs by more than $245 billion during its first two years.
This is money that entrepreneurs and small businesses can use to create jobs, raise wages, and invest in important capital improvements. It is money that families can use on their priorities, whether that is buying a first home or saving for their children’s education.
Thanks to President Trump’s vision and leadership, this administration has been laser-focused on rolling back the abuses and high cost of the regulatory deep state.
From his first week in office, President Trump challenged the government to roll back two old regulations for every new one. In Fiscal Year 2017, we far surpassed his goal and rolled back 22 regulations for every new one. In FY 2018, we rolled back 12 rules for every new rule.
The impact of these two new Executive Orders will massively multiply the work President Trump has already done to drain the D.C. swamp.
President Trump is not only returning control over the government to the people and state and local governments, he is revitalizing the economy so Americans from all walks of life, and from every state, have the opportunity to prosper. He is making the federal government work for Americans again.Russ Vought is the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
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