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May 4, 2019

A Regulatory Report Card

President Donald Trump came into the White House two years ago pledging to reduce the federal regulatory burden for the benefit of consumers, businesses and the American economy. In a new report, the American Council on Capital Formation’s (ACCF) Center for Policy Research assesses whether the commander in chief has made good on that promise. The report, commissioned by ACCF, was authored by Dr. John Graham, who is dean of and professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, and Dr. Keith Belton, director of the Manufacturing Policy Initiative at the school.

Belton and Graham found that while the number of new regulatory actions has been “much smaller” than it was during the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations, progress on reviewing and removing existing regulations has been slow. That difficulty is due in part to lawsuits in federal court. The ACCF also found the move toward less regulation at the federal level has been undermined by growth in some state and local regulations on some issues.

In order to successfully reduce the federal regulatory burden, Belton and Graham make several recommendations, including that the president quickly nominate individuals for unfilled leadership posts at federal agencies; build mechanisms that allow the White House to track and report on the number of deregulatory actions; and create new tools to measure the impact of deregulatory actions. In a column discussing the report’s findings and recommendation, ACCF General Counsel and Vice President of Policy Timothy Doyle also advises that presidentially appointed judges will ultimately decide the fate of Trump’s deregulatory agenda.

ACCF’s Center for Policy Research provides research on economic, energy, environment, regulatory, tax, and trade policies to academics, policymakers, business leaders and the media. MSCI is grateful to the organization for allowing us to feature this report on Edge. Interested in more? In 2017, ACCF’s Doyle released a paper that provided ideas for improving the nation’s regulatory framework while protecting the health, welfare, environment, and economic stability of the public. Click here to read that report.