The administration has cut 22 regulations for every new rule introduced, President Donald Trump announced at the White House Thursday.
Agencies and departments issued 67 deregulatory actions and imposed only three new rules in fiscal year 2017, according to senior administration officials. The number far exceeded Trump's goal through his executive order to cut two old rules for any new regulation proposed.
While making the announcement, Trump stood beside a mountain of paperwork that makes up the Federal Register. A piece of red tape connected a much smaller pile, which represented the regulatory code in 1960.
"Within the first eleven months, we canceled or delayed over 1,500 planned regulatory actions, more than any previous president, by far," Trump said. "And you see the results, when you look at the stock market, the results of companies, and when you see companies coming back into our country."
"Instead of eliminating two old regulations for every one new regulation, we have eliminated 22" he said. "Twenty-two. That's a big difference. We aimed for 2 for 1, and in 2017, we hit 22-1."
A senior official said the administration deregulatory moves were taken in careful and mindful ways and have saved $8.1 billion in lifetime net regulatory costs.
Trump said regulations related to worker protections, clean air, and water would remain. The administration is targeting the "ever-growing maze of regulations, rules, restrictions" that have "cost our country trillions and trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, countless American factories, and devastated many industries," he said.
The roll back in regulations is a stunning contrast to the Obama administration, which imposed a record 600 major regulations, adding rules that cost the economy $100 million or more at a rate of every three days.
The Trump administration has withdrawn or delayed 1,579 planned regulatory actions. This includes 635 regulations that were withdrawn, 244 regulations that were made inactive, and 700 regulations that were delayed.
The administration will be more ambitious next year, with Trump promising to get the Federal Register to 1960 levels. The Federal Register is 185,000 pages today, and was only 20,000 pages in 1960.
In fiscal year 2018, agencies and departments have committed to cutting $9.8 billion in lifetime costs for regulations, saving $686.6 million per year.
"We're going to cut a ribbon because we're getting back below the 1960 level," Trump said, holding a pair of gold scissors. "And we'll be back there fairly quickly."