Trump Counting Chickens Before They’re Hatched?

With a shortage of legislative accomplishments to brag about, the White House is trying out a new talking point: the bills that have been signed into law will save Americans $18 billion annually.


That figure, however, appears to include savings from all of the president’s executive orders overturning major Obama-era regulations, long before they are finalized.


Given the length of time it takes to deregulate, as well as the numerous legal challenges that are already mounting, that total may be a bit premature.


Donald Trump speaks at a Washington, D.C. event

At a meeting with congressional Republicans today, President Donald Trump said he had signed 36 bills, created 1 million jobs, and approved  “historic” increases in military spending.


“We have increased the stock market values and values of corporations in the public market by $3.6 trillion,” Trump said.


Moreover, Trump claimed the bills he had signed will save Americans $18 billion annually.


White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short, in a briefing for reporters June 5, was more precise about where the savings will come from.


The president has now signed 36 individual bills into law, and among those were 14 bills to repeal regulations under the Congressional Review Act, Short said.


“The pulling back of the regulatory burden of the Obama administration—these bills and executive orders save our economy $18 billion annually in regulatory compliance costs,” Short said.


To reach this figure, the White House appears to be assuming that several executive orders signed by Trump to repeal regulations will be successful.


Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the right-leaning American Action Forum, maintains a database of regulations and is tracking the Trump administration’s regulatory rollback.


In an April 24 post, Batkins calculated that to date, Congress and the administration have repealed regulations with an estimated $4.1 billion in total net present value costs.


The annual cost savings from CRA resolutions is $1.1 billion, while the “potential” annual cost savings for all rulemakings ordered by Trump equals $19 billion, Batkins said.


These rules include the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary rule, and several national emission standards, all of which are likely to take years to undo.