CWF Applauds President Trump for His Two Executive Orders on Government Agency Transparency

Posted by Olivia Grady on Friday, October 18th, 2019 at 2:41 pm - Permalink

On October 9, 2019, President Donald Trump signed two Executive Orders. One Executive Order was on “promoting the rule of law through transparency and fairness in civil administrative enforcement and adjudication.” The order requires agencies to make rules publicly known before enforcing the rules. The order also requires agencies to offer opinion letters to those who request them. 

The second Executive Order was on “promoting the rule of law through improved agency guidance documents.” The order requires agencies to make guidance documents easily searchable and upload them onto their websites. Government agencies will also have to ask for public input on the most important guidance documents, and Americans can ask agencies to withdraw guidance. 

CWF applauds the Trump administration on these Executive Orders because the country needs more transparency and fairness in the federal government.  

The White House, for example, described in a fact sheet a case where the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the Clean Water Act, had determined that several ponds were federally protected navigable waters. The ponds had been created by a 77-year-old United States Navy Veteran, and because of this EPA determination, the veteran was imprisoned and ordered to pay a $130,000 fine.

In addition, President Trump related at the signing of the Executive Orders additional harm that government bureaucrats had caused:

“For many decades, federal agencies have been issuing thousands of pages of so-called “guidance” documents — a pernicious kind of regulation imposed by unaccountable bureaucrats in the form of commentary on how rules should be interpreted.

All too often, guidance documents are a backdoor for regulators to effectively change the laws and vastly expand their scope and reach.  Guidance has frequently been used to subject U.S. citizens and businesses to arbitrary and sometimes abusive enforcement actions.”

Thankfully, President Trump is serious about deregulation, and deregulatory actions, like these two Executive Orders, have helped Americans tremendously. As OMB Director Russ Vought explained in a Fox News article:

“Deregulation has real-dollar consequences for American families. Government-wide regulatory reform actions will save the average American household $3,100 in coming years. And benefits are already being felt across the economy—the Trump administration reduced regulatory costs by $33 billion in its first two years alone. In stark contrast, the Obama-Biden administration *increased* regulatory costs by more than $245 billion during its first two years.”

Because President Trump’s latest Executive Orders will help American workers, the Center for Worker Freedom strongly supports them.