On May 19, 2020 President Trump issued an Executive Order directing federal agencies to “combat the economic consequences of COVID-19” by “rescinding, modifying, waiving, or providing exemptions from regulations and other requirements that may inhibit economic recovery.”
To encourage a nationwide economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, the Order includes five directives to the heads of all federal agencies. First, it directs agencies to “use, to the fullest extent possible…any emergency authorities that I have previously invoked in response to the COVID-19 outbreak or that are otherwise available to them” to assist in economic recovery. This provision also encourages agency heads to use “non-regulatory actions” to promote economic recovery.
Next, the Order directs the heads of all agencies to “identify regulatory standards that may inhibit economic recovery” and to consider appropriate actions such as rescinding those standards on either a temporary or permanent basis; modifying, waiving, or exempting entities from those requirements; or exercising temporary enforcement discretion with respect to those standards.
Third, the Order directs the heads of all agencies to exercise enforcement discretion “against persons and entities that have attempted in reasonable good faith” to comply with statutory and regulatory standards. It directs all agencies except the Department of Justice to “accelerate procedures by which a regulated person or entity may receive a pre-enforcement ruling under Executive Order 13892,” which concerns civil administrative enforcement and adjudication.
The Order also requires agencies to “revise their procedures and practices” in light of certain “principles of fairness” in administrative enforcement, including transparency, freedom from improper government coercion, burden of proof, and other elements concerning due process in administrative adjudication.
Finally, the Order directs agencies to review their regulatory standards, actions taken, and any other regulatory flexibilities to determine which of those “would promote economic recovery if made permanent,” provided those actions are consistent with other policy considerations described in the Order. It directs the agencies to report the results of these reviews to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy.
The Executive Order is available here.