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What Regulations Did Trump Administration Add in 2019?

The Trump administration recently issued “Regulatory Reform Results for Fiscal Year 2019.”

This is its fiscal year 2019 status update on the one-in, two-out directive initiated in Executive Order 13771, titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.”

The administration asserts that agencies issued 61 “significant deregulatory actions,” and 35 significant regulatory ones, for a ratio of 1.7 to 1. That does not quite attain the one-in, two-out target, but is close.

I took a look at the rules that were cut here, and this time will look at what was added.

Actually, if one looks at the more detailed supporting document “Regulatory Reform Report: Completed Actions for Fiscal Year 2019,” there are 59 rather than 61 significant deregulatory actions, shaving the ratio a tad but still rounding up to 1.7 to one.  

Separately, the fall 2019 Regulatory Plan and Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions appeared in late November. Under the Trump administration, the releases of the Agenda and the year-end brag sheet had been synchronized until this time. The Agenda incorporates (roughly) a six-month lookback at completed rules, and in my review of it, I showed that the one-in, two-out requirement for regulations was in some trouble. Back in the spring edition, two-for-one was still on track but less healthy than in 2018 and 2017, with 15 rules in and 33 out at the time, so there remained time to maintain “compliance.” I assembled interim details on those rules here.

Back in fiscal year 2017, the inaugural year of two-for-one and the heyday of the program, much was made over the elimination of 67 significant rules while adding three for a claimed (and challenged) 22-to-1 ratio. Rules that came and went may be found here. There was also streamlining of guidance documents and independent agency rules the administration could have taken credit for but did not. The fall Unified Agenda at that time presented a more modest but still efficacious (as these fraught reckonings go) four-to-one ratio.

In the subsequent fiscal year-end 2018 update (a year ago) 57 significant deregulatory actions and 14 significant regulatory actions were completed for a ratio of four to one. That inventory may be found here.

So at the end of year three of the one-in, two-out program, here’s a summary showing where things stand, comparing fiscal year-ends 2017, 2018, and 2019. There is a claimed grand total of 52 regulatory actions and 182 deregulatory, for an overall ratio of 3.5 rules out for every one added.

As I’d noted in the earlier roundup of rules cut, I’m not engaging the controversy over whether the cuts in regs are highly significant or exaggeratedsee discussion of this point in the 2019 edition of Ten Thousand Commandments, which also addresses the warning signs of Trump’s own regulatory impulses that could swamp his regulatory savings.In the new accounting for 2019, the administration claims to have eliminated $13.5 billion in overall regulatory costs across the government, and to have cut over $50 billion in overall regulatory costs since 2017. Employing different methodologies, the Council of Economic Advisers estimates far more than that; but there is comparatively less emphasis on the costs of the rules that get added, which can be a problem.

The declining out/in ratio is indicative of how it becomes harder to pick the “significant regulatory action” fruit capable of generating rapid rule and cost rollbacks. This is one reason a new executive order on agency guidance document disclosure and streamlining was needed and enacted. It remains possible to further disclose, eliminate, better classify, and streamline guidance as well as formal rules and to hold agencies more accountable.  

We know some of the fervor for generation of new regulation is down under Trump, but it’s helpful for observers to as intently take a look at what has been added as at what has been subtracted.

So, for the record, here is the inventory at the end of fiscal year 2019 of the significant agency regulatory actions that were added rather than eliminated by the Trump administration. The total number of significant regulations added and appearing on the administration’s detailed chart is 35, with nearly a third of that from the Department of Health and Human Services. For greater depth on any of the rules below, see the Office of Management and Budget’s website or look up the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN).  

Regulatory Reform: Completed Significant Regulatory Actions Fiscal Year 2018

This table excerpts executive branch agency E.O. 13771 significant regulatory actions completed in fiscal year 2019. See original at the Office of Management and Budget.

Department of Health and Human Services (11)

  1. RIN:0910-AH97 Topical Antimicrobial Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use: Final Monograph for Consumer Antiseptic Rub Products
  2. RIN:0938-AT28 CY 2019 Changes to the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System, Quality Incentive Program, Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics,
  3. Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) (CMS-1691-F)
  4. RIN:0938-AS84 Program Integrity Enhancements to the Provider Enrollment Process (CMS-6058-F)
  5. RIN:0938-AS59 Revisions to Requirements for Discharge Planning for Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals, and Home Health Agencies (CMS-3317-F)
  6. RIN:0945-AA10 Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority
  7. RIN:0938-AT75 FY 2020 Skilled Nursing Facility (SNFs) Prospective Payment System Rate Update and Quality Reporting Requirements (CMS-1718-F)
  8. RIN:0938-AT73 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals; the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System; and FY 2020 Rates (CMS1716-F)
  9. RIN:0938-AT67 FY 2020 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) Prospective Payment System Rate Update and Quality Reporting Requirements (CMS-1710-F)
  10. RIN:0937-AA07 Compliance With Statutory Program Integrity Requirements
  11. RIN:0938-AT87 Regulation to Require Drug Pricing Transparency (CMS-4187-F)
  12. RIN:0938-AT61 Medicaid Provider Payment Reassignment (CMS-2413-F)

Department of Homeland Security (3)

  1. RIN:1615-AC07 EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization
  2. RIN:1615-AA22 Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds
  3. RIN:1653-AA751 Apprehension, Processing, Care and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children

Department of Housing and Urban Development (1)

  1. RIN:2502-ZA20 Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Program - Continuation of HECM Collateral Risk Assessment Requirements

Department of Justice (1)

  1. RIN:1140-AA52 Bump-Stock-Type Devices

Department of Labor  (2)

  1. RIN:1205-AB92 Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018
  2. RIN:1219-AB92 Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines

Department of Transportation (4)

  1. RIN:2137-AE66 Pipeline Safety: Safety of Hazardous Liquid Pipelines
  2. RIN:2137-AE72 Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines, MAOP Reconfiguration, Expansion of Assessment Requirements and Other Related Amendments
  3. RIN:2137-AF20 Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Safety Provisions for Lithium Batteries Transported by Aircraft (FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018)
  4. RIN:2137-AF08 Hazardous Materials: Oil Spill Response Plans and Information Sharing for HighHazard Flammable Trains (FAST Act)

Department of the Treasury (1)

  1. RIN:1515-AE23 Modernized Drawback

Department of Veterans Affairs (3)

  1. RIN:2900-AQ45 Veterans Care Agreements
  2. RIN:2900-AQ47 Urgent Care
  3. RIN:2900-AQ46 Veterans Community Care Program

Environmental Protection Agency (6)

  1. RIN:2060-AT67 Repeal of the Clean Power Plan; Emission Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Existing Electric Utility Generating Units; Revisions to Emission
  2. Guideline Implementing Regulations
  3. RIN:2060-AT93 Renewable Fuel Volume Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume (BBD) for 2020
  4. RIN:2070-AK27 Service Fees for the Administration of the Toxic Substances Control Act
  5. RIN:2070-AK07 Methylene Chloride; Regulation of Paint and Coating Removal for Consumer Use Under TSCA Section 6(a)
  6. RIN:2060-AU34 Modifications to Fuel Regulations to Provide Flexibility for E15; Modifications to RFS RIN Market Regulations
  7. RIN:2070-AJ82 Review of Dust-Lead Hazard Standards and the Definition of Lead-Based Paint

Federal Acquisition Regulation (1)

  1. RIN:9000-AN02 Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); FAR Case 2015-017; Combating Trafficking in Persons--Definition of "Recruitment Fees"