In January of this year, the President emphasized that our regulatory system “must measure, and seek to improve, the actual results of regulatory requirements.” With this point in mind, he ordered an unprecedentedly ambitious government-wide review of existing federal regulations. He directed agencies and departments to produce plans to eliminate red tape and to streamline current requirements.
Today, we are announcing that agencies are releasing their final regulatory reform plans, including hundreds of initiatives that will reduce costs, simplify the system, and eliminate redundancy and inconsistency.
As the plans demonstrate, a great deal has been achieved in a short time. Significant burden-reducing rules have been finalized or publicly proposed from the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Transportation. These rules are expected to save more than $4 billion over the next five years.
The reforms announced today span a wide range. Consider just a few examples:
Many of the new reforms focus specifically on small business. For example, the Department of Defense recently issued a new rule to accelerate payments on contracts to as many as 60,000 small businesses, thus improving their cash flow in an economically difficult time.
Over the next five years, the monetized savings from just a fraction of the reforms announced today are likely to exceed $10 billion. Perhaps more important, today’s plans explicitly recognize that the regulatory lookback is not a one-time endeavor. Agencies will continue to revisit existing rules, asking whether they should be updated, streamlined, or repealed. And they will do so in close consultation with the public. Ideas are welcome at any time.
Today’s cost-reducing reforms complement, and do not displace, our continuing efforts to safeguard public safety and our environment. As President Obama has said, “We can make our economy stronger and more competitive, while meeting our fundamental responsibilities to one another.” We will continue to eliminate unjustified regulatory costs, and thus strengthen our economy, while taking sensible, cost-effective, evidence-based steps to protect public health and welfare.