Section: Washington Update

President Biden has issued more than 30 Executive Orders and Memoranda in his first few days in office, several of which are applicable to NASACT members:
January 20
Presidential Memorandum on Regulatory Freeze Pending Review
This item directs that no rule will be proposed or issued in any manner, including by sending a rule to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), until a department or agency head appointed or designated by the President after noon on January 20, 2021, reviews and approves the rule.
With respect to rules that have been sent to the OFR but not published in the Federal Register, they will be immediately withdrawn from the OFR for review and approval.
Executive Order on Revocation of Certain Executive Orders Concerning Federal Regulation
This order revokes harmful policies and directives and empowers agencies to use appropriate regulatory tools to achieve these goals. It includes revocation of the following orders:
  • Executive Order 13771 of January 30, 2017 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs)
  • Executive Order 13777 of February 24, 2017 (Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda)
  • Executive Order 13875 of June 14, 2019 (Evaluating and Improving the Utility of Federal Advisory Committees)
  • Executive Order 13891 of October 9, 2019 (Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents)
  • Executive Order 13892 of October 9, 2019 (Promoting the Rule of Law Through Transparency and Fairness in Civil Administrative Enforcement and Adjudication
  • Executive Order 13893 of October 10, 2019 (Increasing Government Accountability for Administrative Actions by Reinvigorating Administrative PAYGO 

The order directs the director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and the heads of agencies to promptly take steps to rescind any orders, rules, regulations, guidelines, or policies, or portions thereof, implementing or enforcing the Executive Orders identified above. In addition, any personnel positions, committees, task forces, or other entities established pursuant to the Executive Orders identified above, including the regulatory reform officer positions and regulatory reform task forces established by sections 2 and 3 of Executive Order 13777, should be abolished.
Memorandum on Modernizing Regulatory Review
This Presidential Memorandum asks the director of OMB, in consultation with representatives of executive departments and agencies, to identify ways to modernize and improve the regulatory review process, including through revisions to OMB’s Circular A-4. Regulatory analysis should ensure that the review process promotes policies that reflect new developments in scientific and economic understanding, fully accounts for regulatory benefits that are difficult or impossible to quantify and does not have harmful anti-regulatory or deregulatory effects.

January 22
COVID Economic Relief Executive Order
The Executive Order covered a large number of topics, including allowing larger emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program allotments for the lowest-income households. Congress authorized emergency increases to SNAP benefits to help address food insecurity during the pandemic, yet those benefit increases have not been made available to all of the lowest income households. USDA will consider issuing new guidance that would allow states to increase SNAP emergency allotments for those who need it most.