Trump administration points to deregulation as "huge accomplishment"

United States President Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, March 27, 2017. Trump signed four bills, H.J. Res 37, H.J. Res 44, H.J. Res. 57 and H.J. Res. 58, that nullify measures put in place during former President Barack Obama’s administration. 

Andrew Harrer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

The Trump administration is heralding the use of an obscure law from 1996 to eliminate Obama-era regulations as a “huge accomplishment” of President Donald Trump’s first months in office. 

The White House told reporters on Wednesday that through the Congressional Review Act, they have rescinded 11 regulations implemented by President Obama, amounting to $10 billion in savings. 

Mr. Trump is set to eliminate two more rules before the window to utilize the Congressional Review Act expires at the end of April. 

After a series of legislative misfires that have thwarted what was supposed to be an ambitious first 100 days in office, Marc Short, White House director of legislative affairs, was bullish on the significance of Trump’s regulatory rollbacks. 

Most recently, Mr. Trump nullified a rule issued by the Federal Communications Commission that required internet service providers from tracking and marketing customer’s online information without their approval. Short said that not every nullification would necessarily be a “job creator” but this rule was cited as being “duplicative of regulations that are already in place.” 

Short sought to tamp down critics who have expressed concern about the dizzying pace of de-regulation that may have far-reaching consequences. “There was a huge risk to the economy,” Short said of regulations passed under the previous administration after the 2008 financial crisis. 

While the White House sought to keep the conversation with reporters focused on the CRA, Short inevitably fielded questions on the rebound of healthcare talks after Mr. Trump and the GOP congress failed to repeal and replace Obamacare. Short called reports of an imminent health care bill “erroneous.” 

“I can’t give you a time table,” Short added. “Last night we had members of the Freedom Caucus, the Tuesday group and the Republican Study Committee in the same room talking through the same issues we feel like that is progress.”