When a cadre of manufacturing executives came to the White House in February, a repeat visit for the group, they said one of their highest hopes was for less regulation — and not just for big companies.
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) CEO Marillyn Hewson said in February that the executives sought relief for small and medium businesses "impacted by burdensome regulations." "That's where we want to develop jobs and growth," she said. "The president listened intently and wanted to take action."
The following day, Trump, flanked by those executives, responded by signing an executive order on that very topic. Among the directives outlined: Each agency – unless it receives a waiver – was to appoint a "regulatory reform officer" to build a task force to target rules deemed costly, burdensome or redundant. The White House order stipulated the appointment be made within 60 days from the date of signing, a date that falls this week.
CNBC reached out to 20 government agencies to inquire about the status of the regulatory reform appointment and the progress of the corresponding task force. Just a handful of agencies responded with the names of their appointees.
Brian Callanan has been designated as Treasury's regulatory reform officer. In March, Callanan was named deputy general counsel of the Treasury Department and currently serves as acting general counsel. Previously, he was staff director and general counsel of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Sen. Rob Portman.
Elaine Duke, confirmed as deputy Homeland Security secretary, will be adding regulatory reform to her portfolio, the agency told CNBC. Holly Turner, who joined the Small Business Administration as assistant administrator in March, will take on the role for SBA.
The Environmental Protection Agency, whose administrator has been vocal about the volume of regulations he plans to roll back, has devoted a landing page to the issue, which included the appointment Samantha Dravis as regulatory reform officer.
James Uthmeier, senior counsel to the Department of Commerce and former private sector attorney, will chair the department's regulatory task force, a spokesperson said.
The Department of Education declined to comment, as did the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department of Veterans Affairs directed inquiries to the White House. The White House directed the question to the Office of Management and Budget. A spokesperson for the OMB told CNBC: "We are working with agencies and compiling information as we speak."
The other agencies CNBC contacted did not respond.
It's unclear how widely the White House cast the net for such reforms. Some regulatory agencies outside the Cabinet level didn't know whether the order applied to them. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency – whose chief is serving beyond a term that expired April 9 – said it was "reviewing the order" to see whether it included factors that would apply to the OCC. It wasn't immediately clear, a spokesman said, because the Feb. 24 text references previous executive orders on regulation that did not apply.
The Federal Reserve has not designated a regulatory reform officer. Fed Governor Jay Powell has been leading on regulatory policy issues since Daniel Tarullo stepped down earlier this month.
The regulatory reform appointments are among the nearly 50 deadlines laid out for various agencies in the executive orders the president signed in his first 100 days. The White House has not said how it would set and enforce the deadlines, which may be flexible: The regulatory reform order, for example, was signed on Feb. 24 but not uploaded to the Federal Register until Feb. 28 and published on March 1.
Max Stier, the CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, said the administration's progress in hiring key personnel for appointed posts has lagged that of previous administrations, which could impact its agenda, including deregulation.
"Personnel is policy," Stier told CNBC. "If you don't have your people in place, you can make policy pronouncements, but you're not going to get that policy done effectively."
Watch: Former Reagan official on regulatory reform
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