Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2019
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP IS COMBATING BUREAUCRATIC ABUSE AND HOLDING FEDERAL AGENCIES ACCOUNTABLE
“We are reforming the bureaucracy to make it lean, responsive, and accountable. And we are ensuring our laws are enforced fairly.” – President Donald J. Trump
RESTORING TRANSPARENCY AND FAIRNESS: President Donald J. Trump is protecting Americans by restoring transparency and fairness to the bureaucracy.
• Today, President Trump signed two Executive Orders that will improve the transparency and fairness of government agencies and ensure that they are held accountable.
• The “Improved Agency Guidance Documents” Executive Order requires agencies to put their guidance documents on easily searchable websites so individuals are able to access them.
o To ensure Americans have their voices heard, the Order will also require government agencies to seek public input on the most important guidance they issue.
o Americans will be able to ask agencies to withdraw guidance they believe is wrong.
• The “Transparency and Fairness” Executive Order prohibits agencies from enforcing rules they have not made publicly known in advance.
o The order also instructs agencies to offer opinion letters to individuals and businesses who request them, so people who want to comply with the law can learn how.
COMBATING BUREAUCRATIC ABUSE: The Trump Administration is taking action to end the administrative abuse that hurts American families and small businesses.
• Under the Obama Administration, a lack of transparency and accountability allowed Federal agencies to commit horrible abuses against the American people.
• Agencies abused their power by imposing unlawful and secret interpretations of regulations, as well as by threatening families and businesses with unfair and unexpected penalties.
o In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) threatened a family with up to $20 million in fines for building an environmentally-friendly pond for livestock without first seeking EPA permission, even though Congress had exempted these ponds from EPA’s reach.
o A 77-year-old United States Navy veteran was imprisoned and ordered to pay $130,000 after the EPA – under the Clean Water Act – declared several small ponds the veteran created to fight wildfires as federally protected navigable waters.
• Going forward, agencies will have to give people fair notice of any complaint against them and a chance to respond.
UNLEASHING AMERICAN ENTERPRISE: These actions build on President Trump’s historic efforts to unleash economic growth and increase prosperity through regulatory reform.
• President Trump has delivered on his promise to cut burdensome and unnecessary regulations that stifle economic growth and hurt small businesses.
o The removal of agency mandates affords small businesses the opportunity to use their profits to invest in job creation and grow instead of wasting them on compliance costs.
• The Administration has cut 14 regulations for every new significant regulation implemented.
• These actions are reversing a long track record of a highly ineffective federal bureaucracy that has harmed American businesses and families to no end.