Advocacy Groups Challenge Trump’s 2-for-1 Regulation Requirement

Three liberal advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit alleging that President Trump’s 2-for-1 regulation mandate violates the Constitution and directs agencies to violate federal law.

Regulations

In a January 30 Executive Order, Trump instructed federal agencies to cut two regulations for every new one issued during the current fiscal year. He said the order was aimed at alleviating the regulatory burdens that businesses face. (For more information, see Trump Aims to Help Businesses with 2-for-1 Regulatory Plan.)

Now, consumer group Public Citizen is challenging the order, joined by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Communications Workers of America. In a February 8 complaint, the groups alleged that the Executive Order violates the Constitution and requires federal agencies to violate both the laws they implement and the Administrative Procedure Act.

“No one thinking sensibly about how to set rules for health, safety, the environment and the economy would ever adopt the Trump Executive Order approach—unless their only goal was to confer enormous benefits on big business,” said Public Citizen’s president, Robert Weissman, in a statement. “If implemented, the order would result in lasting damage to our government’s ability to save lives, protect our environment, police Wall Street, keep consumers safe and fight discrimination.”

The lawsuit also takes issue with the order’s requirement that agencies ensure the total cost of their regulations is zero or creates a net gain. “To repeal two regulations for the purpose of adopting one new one, based solely on a directive to impose zero net costs and without any consideration of benefits, is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law,” the complaint alleges.

The suit asks the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to temporarily halt the order until it can hear the case on its merits. (Public Citizen, et al. v. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-00253 (D.D.C. Feb. 8, 2017))

Kate TornoneKate McGovern Tornone is an editor at BLR. She has almost 10 years’ experience covering a variety of employment law topics and currently writes for HR Daily Advisor and HR.BLR.com. Before coming to BLR, she served as editor of Thompson Information Services’ ADA and FLSA publications, co-authored the Guide to the ADA Amendments Act, and published several special reports. She graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., with a B.A. in media studies.

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Author: Kate McGovern Tornone