Donald Trump may have suffered a setback on health care, but he’s been a virtual machine when it comes to rolling back Barack Obama’s midnight regulatory onslaught.
The president on Monday killed three more rules imposed by the previous president on the way out the door. One of the dictates sent out to pasture was the Bureau of Land Management’s so-called Planning 2.0 initiative, which gave Beltway bureaucrats more domain over public land use at the expense of local interests.
The rule had an especially pernicious effect on Nevada, where federal land managers run herd over more than 85 percent of the state. Among those present at the Trump signing ceremony was Jim French, a retired wildlife biologist and a commissioner in northern Nevada’s Humboldt County.
This now brings to seven the number of regulations Mr. Trump has negated through the Congressional Review Act. The law, passed in 1994 as part of the GOP’s Contract With America, allows Congress to overturn new mandates imposed by federal agencies. If a majority in the Senate and House vote to rescind a rule, the president’s signature completes the process.
Mr. Trump hasn’t been stingy with the ink. Prior to this year, the law had been used successfully only once. But with a Republican replacing a Democrat in the White House, and the GOP in control of Congress, the act has been the new president’s most effective weapon.
“There are several that weren’t on my radar, at all,” Susan Dudley, director of the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University, told USA Today about the administrative edicts Mr. Trump has nullified.
As a bonus, the review act prohibits the subsequent creation of a “substantially similar” regulation, essentially preventing executive agencies from doing an end run around the law by simply imposing an equivalent order under a new name.
Mr. Obama set records for his expansion of the regulatory state, particularly during the waning months of his presidency. Mr. Trump should maintain his record-breaking use of the Congressional Review Act to mitigate the damage.