President Trump continues to make sweeping changes with the swipe of his pen, signing an executive order on Monday stating that for every new federal regulation, two existing rules must be eliminated.
The move, which would dramatically pare down federal regulations on small businesses (earlier in the day, Trump told reporters he wants to eliminate “a little more than 75 percent” of the current regulations), is not unexpected — Trump included the executive order in his plan for his first 100 days in office.
What is unclear is how the order will be enforced. The formal document has yet to be released, but repealing a federal regulation is multi-step, lengthy process, one that requires review, public notice, and a comment period.
But as with the executive order on immigration, which is already being challenged by the courts, Trump is fulfilling his campaign promises by acting decisively, even when it’s unclear how the order will be applied. During his campaign, he relied heavily on his business background, continually promising to slash what he painted as harmful federal regulations if he was elected.
Small-business owners appeared to be convinced. In December, U.S. small-business confidence in the economy climbed to 105.8, its highest point in 12 years, up 7.4 points from the previous month, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. That’s the biggest monthly gain since July 1980.
Surrounded by small-business owners as signed the order, Trump was characteristically grandiose on its impact if vague on the specifics.
“This will be the biggest such act that our country has ever seen,” he said. “There will be regulation, there will be control, but it will be normalized control.”