Published: Sat, December 16, 2017
World News | By Laverne Osborne

We are cutting red tape to defend democracy

We are cutting red tape to defend democracy

President Donald Trump cuts a symbolic red tape while speaking about deregulation at the White House, December 14, 2017. "And the USD5 trillion was as of about three weeks ago, so I assume we probably hit Dollars 6 trillion, almost", he said. "For the first time in decades, we achieved regulatory savings". "We blew our target out of the water", he boasted today.

In the fiscal year 2017, agencies withdrew or delayed 1,579 planned regulatory actions. The regulatory agenda acts as a policy blueprint of sorts for federal agencies. "Instead of eliminating two old regulations, for every one new regulation, we have eliminated 22 - that's a big difference", Trump said.

In January, the president made good on his campaign promise to deregulate by signing a directive that departments must eliminate two regulations for ever new regulation they create.

U.S. President Donald Trump uses gold scissors to cut a red tape tied between two stacks of papers representing the government regulations of the 1960s (L) and the regulations of today (R) after he spoke about his administration's efforts in deregulation in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 14, 2017.

These actions produced $8.1 billion in present value cost savings, which translates into $570 million in annual cost savings, according to Rao.

President Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon is expected to address his plan to curb regulations for businesses.

Getting rid of 67 rules may not sound like a lot to some, but Rao called it impressive.

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He challenged his Cabinet officials to push even harder to cut more regulations in 2018, which he said "should just about do it". "And except for the hurricanes, we would have nearly hit four percent", he said.

The president then stood between one pile of papers, labeled "1960", and the other, much larger stack labeled "Today", and cut a piece of red tape stretched between the two with gold scissors. "We're getting back below the 1960 level, and we'll be there fairly quickly". "We know that some of the rules contained in these pages have been beneficial to our nation and we're going to keep them".

His remarks raised alarm among advocates who have been lobbying against the administration's regulatory rollbacks, arguing that they undermine critical consumer safety, public health, and environmental protections.

"Having this enormous accumulation of regulatory burdens is a real tax on the American people, and rolling them back promotes greater freedom", Rao said as she concluded the briefing.

But a Bloomberg News analysis of the earlier version of the regulation report found that Trump and other administration officials had exaggerated claims of cutting nearly 1,000 regulations. "You've seen what's happened". An update to the unified agenda is issued each spring.

The administration has dramatically slowed the adoption of new rules.

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