President Donald Trump literally cut the red tape on federal regulations.
Using a visual aid at a press event Thursday in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, the president updated progress on deregulation and ended his talk standing next to towering stacks of paper.
In 1960, there were approximately 20,000 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations. Today there are over 185,000 pages, as seen in the Roosevelt Room.
Today, we CUT THE RED TAPE! It is time to SET FREE OUR DREAMS and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! pic.twitter.com/teAVNzjvcx
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2017
Trump outlined his administration’s progress on one of his top priorities and dramatically ended the speech cutting the red tape as Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Ivanka Trump and others looked on.
“One of the very first actions of my administration was to impose a two-for-one rule on new federal regulations,” Trump said in his speech. “We ordered that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. You heard me say that on the campaign, many, many times. As a result, the never-ending growth of red tape in America has come to a sudden, screeching, and beautiful halt.”
Citing his promise to remove two old regulations for every new one added, the president added that “we blew our target out of the water.”
“Instead of eliminating two old regulations, for every one new regulation we have eliminated 22 — 22 — that’s a big difference. We aimed for two for one, and, in 2017, we hit 22 for one,” Trump said.
He also displayed a chart that outlined highway regulations.
“I held this chart up three months ago and I said, bring out that chart. That was a last-minute decision. But it really explains what a disaster it is,” he said, getting director of strategic initiatives Chris Liddell to help hold the oversized, color-coded poster.
“Chris is not tall enough for this chart,” Trump quipped. “Neither is anybody else.”
“You had to go through this process and it would take many years — many, many years,” Trump said. “And you had to go through nine different agencies, make sixteen different decisions, under twenty-nine different laws. It would take from 10 to 20 years — in some cases, longer than that. And by the time you finished, you probably gave up.”
The Department of Transportation has begun rolling back 82 regulations since Trump stepped into the Oval Office, ABC News reported. Another 31 deregulatory actions are planned for 2018.
“Every unnecessary page in these stacks represents hidden tax and harmful burdens to American workers and to American businesses, and, in many cases, means projects never get off the ground,” Trump said before cutting the tape. “By ending excessive regulation, we are defending democracy and draining the swamp. Truly, we are draining the swamp. Unchecked regulation undermines our freedoms and saps our national spirit, destroys our company. We have so many companies that are destroyed by regulation — and destroys obviously jobs.”
He added that many of the regulations had been added over the years without any debates, votes or accountability.
“Now there is accountability,” Trump said. “So together, let’s cut the red tape. Let’s set free our dreams. And, yes, let’s make America great again.”
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