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Jan. 30, 2017

Trump’s ‘Two-Out, One-In’ Executive Order on Regulations Is Radical, Unworkable and Dangerous

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: Today, President Donald Trump signed an executive order with the goal of repealing two public protections for every new one issued. The order also establishes a process for setting an annual cap on federal regulations, which the Trump administration intends to set at $0, according to reports. See our detailed analysis [PDF].

This executive order (EO) is as radical and unworkable as the other ones Trump has signed. It will result in immediate and lasting damage to our government’s ability to save lives, protect our environment, police Wall Street, keep consumers safe and fight discrimination. It will fundamentally change our government’s role from one of protecting the public to protecting corporate profits, and will lead to a dangerous new era of deregulation and corporate “self-regulation.”

The public will feel the impacts of this harmful EO right away. Upcoming regulations to update lead safety standards in drinking water, prohibit payday lenders from preying on consumers with unconscionable interest rates and remove unsafe chemicals from the marketplace under the new Toxic Substances Control Act are just a few of the vital new measures that will be shelved until corporate special interests identify public protections for the Trump administration to repeal.

In addition, this unprecedented and untested measure will gut the enforcement of wildly popular and successful laws including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Pipeline Safety Act and many more.

It’s horrifying that even after the Wall Street crash, the massive BP oil spill and numerous other public health and safety disasters across the country due to a lack of strong regulations, Americans will once again have to pay the price for the consequences of corporate recklessness, greed and lawbreaking.

This EO is just the next and most arbitrary attack in a litany of attacks against public protections. From overreaching measures like this ridiculous “two out, one in,” standard, to the agency gag orders keeping staff from discussing their work protecting the public, to the discussion of massive budget cuts – Trump and Republican lawmakers are attempting to usher in an era where the protections the American people need and want will come second to industry profits.

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