President Trump's administration, on orders to kill two regulations for every new one, ripped up the playbook during its first six months, eliminating 16 old rules for every new one, according to top officials.

"It's really the beginning of a kind of fundamental regulatory reform and a reorientation of where we're going with regulation," said Neomi Rao, the newly installed administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget.

In a briefing with a handful of reporters, Rao laid out the administration's regulation agenda, declaring, "It's a beginning...you're going to see a rollback of regulations."

Her comments came in advance of Thursday's release of the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, a report that typically lays out upcoming economically impactful regulations.

But she said that in the first Trump version, the numbers will show that hundreds of regulations have been killed or shelved, many from the final days of the Obama administration that flooded the system with proposed rules.

The bare numbers will show that the Trump administration has "withdrawn or removed from active status" 860 regulations so far.

The Unified Agenda will also show a 50 percent drop in regulations with an economic impact of $100 million or more, and a 40 percent drop in other less expensive rules.

The administration last week said that its "MAGAnomics" goal of 3 percent growth is built in part on cutting costly regulations and freeing the hands of businesses to do more and hire more.

Rao, who said she is targeting the "regulatory state," explained that it is hard to show that regulations have been killed or withdrawn because the practice in past administrations has been to only propose new rules. For example, in the report, there is no deregulation column. She promised to change that too in future reports.

Much has been made of the efforts by Congress and Trump to cut regulations. The Competitiveness Enterprise Institute on Wednesday said that lots of red tape and paper will be cut by Trump. As an example, it said that the typical 97,000 pages printed in the Federal Register under former President Obama is likely to be cut by a third.

Key highlights from OMB:

  • In the last five months of fiscal year 2016, the Obama administration imposed $6.8 billion in annualized costs from economically significant rules. By contrast, the Trump administration has imposed less than $0 in regulatory costs during its first five months.
  • Comparing Obama's first five months in office to Trump's, Obama imposed $3.1 billion in costs. Trump has cut regulations, realizing an annualized cost saving of $22 million.
  • The administration is "ahead of schedule" on the 2-for-1 regulatory cut, banking 16 regulatory actions, including 12 cut by Congress.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com