More confusion from Trump: One of his executive orders says that agencies must eliminate two regulations for every new regulation they propose. As with Trump’s hiring freeze, the order is vague, yet apparently all-encompassing. Does it apply to the USPS?
Here’s what Politico had to say about the impact of the order on independent agencies like the USPS:
2. What agencies are covered by this new policy? According to its text, Trump’s order applies to any “executive department or agency,” so it would not touch the legislative branch — which runs the Government Accountability Office, Library of Congress, and more — or the judiciary. The order also explicitly exempts regulations dealing with “military, national security, or foreign affairs” and regulations affecting agencies’ “organization, management, or personnel.”
But what about the executive branch’s “independent establishments” (ie., U.S. Postal Service), government corporations (e.g., Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), and various oddball entities such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is funded by the Federal Reserve? Those fall under the executive branch, and some of them do significant rulemaking, but they aren’t normally considered departments or agencies. The executive order fails to reference legal definitions for “executive department” and “executive agency,” which may open a legal can of worms, should one of these atypical bureaucracies balk at compliance.
There is a loophole that the USPS might be able to squeeze through- the order says the twofer rule applies “Unless prohibited by law”. Given that USPS regulations are, in theory at least,required by the laws that created and govern the USPS, wouldn’t arbitrarily eliminating one, merely to adhere to an executive order (which is not a law), be against the law?. Of course that would apply to every other agency as well- which simply demonstrates the insanity of Trump’s directive.
Another question that occurs to me is whether this applies to Trump himself- does he have to rescind two executive orders every time he comes up with a new one? Now THAT might save us some time, money, and embarrassment!