The Trump administration has fulfilled one of the president's key campaign promises to wipe out costly Obama-era regulations, according to a new fiscal year ending report card on the effort.
The American Action Forum found that the administration kept its one in, two out plan and saved $645 million, and has another $600 million in savings on the way.
"By any measure, it has been a significant period for regulatory reform," wrote Dan Goldbeck, a research analyst for regulatory policy at the American Action Forum, the center-right policy shop headed by former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin.
The regulatory cutting has become a Washington fixation with congressional Republicans leading the way after Inauguration Day with huge cuts made through the Congressional Review Act. Trump also signed Executive Order 13,771, demanding more cuts and calling on agencies to consider the cost of regulations before adding more.
In essence, said Goldbeck, Trump created a "regulatory budget" and he has kept his team on it, with the Office of Management and Budget coaching the team.
The Congressional Review Act cuts have already saved $582 billion and Trump's actions $145 million.
The bulk of savings have been at the Pentagon.
"Overall, the administration is well on its way to meeting, and even exceeding, the EO's FY 2017 goal. Most of the agencies have not published actions with quantifiable economic estimates. However, if the goal under EO 13,771 is to get to net annual costs ‘no greater than zero' by the end of the fiscal year, then agencies doing nothing clearly still achieves that goal," said the report.
"Even in its first stage," concluded Goldbeck, "the administration's regulatory agenda spurred $645 million in net savings, with at least another $600 million more on the way."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org