Two Moves Trump HHS Is Taking to Make Government More Accountable

by Fred Lucas


In another Trump administration move to boost transparency and roll back regulations, the Department of Health and Human Services issued two statements of policy on Tuesday that will affect any future imposition of regulations going forward.

The first policy requires the department and its agencies to demonstrate to the public how they reached a conclusion on the economic cost of a regulation.

The other policy would require HHS and its agencies to demonstrate that future proposed regulations do not duplicate a rule already on the books.

These policies should be able to outlast the Trump administration, HHS Chief of Staff Brian Harrison told The Daily Signal.

“We believe these are going to endure,” Harrison said. “Anything that gives the American people more power or more ability to know what their government is doing should be popular.”

Federal agencies have been required to do an economic review of regulations since the Reagan administration. The difference under the new policy is that agencies don’t currently have to show how they reached the conclusion about the cost and the benefit of a specific regulation to the American public.

The proposed transparency policy would change that by requiring HHS officials to show how they reached the conclusions about cost and benefit.

“When a regulation is promulgated, this would just require HHS to show our work, just like we expect a sixth grader to do on their homework,” Harrison said. “Show how you reached that conclusion in the analysis to the American people.”

The second proposal would require all HHS agencies and offices that prepare regulations to “ensure that any rule is not inconsistent with, and does not overlap with, any regulation that has already been issued through an agency within the Department,” according to the text to be placed in the Federal Register.

While past Cabinet secretaries and presidents have eliminated or promised to eliminate duplicative regulations, a difference is that the burden of proof would be at the front end of a proposal for an agency to demonstrate that proposed regulation is not redundant.

“This is taking the step that if you propose a regulation, you have to demonstrate that it does not overlap with regulations the HHS already has,” Harrison said.

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Fred Lucas is chief national affairs correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Abuse of Power: Inside The Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump.”









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