President Trump signed a set of executive actions Friday ordering a review of significant 2016 tax regulations along with two separate reviews aimed at rolling back Dodd-Frank financial regulations.
The president visited the Treasury Department to sign the actions, saying the administration wants to "help struggling Americans achieve their financial dreams, earn a great paycheck, have a job that they love going to every single day and have real confidence in the future."
He also teased that there will be a "big announcement" on tax reform next Wednesday.
The first action is an executive order that directs the Treasury Secretary to review “all significant 2016 tax regulations to determine if they impose an undue financial burden on taxpayers, are needlessly complex, create unnecessary requirements, or exceed what’s allowed under law.”
Mnuchin will have 150 days to recommend action to the president. The order also calls for the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget to reconsider the regulatory review process for new tax regulations, according to the White House.
Trump called the "simplification" of the tax code "such a big thing" during remarks prior to the order's signing, claiming that "people can't do their returns. They have no idea what they are doing. They are too complicated."
Asked at an off-camera briefing earlier in the day whether it’s problematic that this review will be underway as the president and Congress look to roll out a tax overhaul package, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said it shouldn’t have a significant effect.
The president said that further steps in tax reform would come in the form of reducing rates on individuals, particularly those in the middle class, and lowering taxes on businesses. As he signed the actions, Trump alluded to next week's tax reform announcement but did not offer additional information.
Trump also signed two presidential memoranda on the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which former President Obama signed in response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis. One will review Dodd-Frank’s Orderly Liquidation Authority to determine whether it “encourages risk-taking, creates moral hazard, or exposes taxpayers to potential liability.”
The memorandum orders a report to be compiled within 180 days.
The second memorandum will be for a 180-day review of Financial Stability Oversight Council designation procedures, or the process of designating banks and financial firms “too big to fail.”
"These regulations enshrine 'too big to fail' and encourage risky behavior," said Trump. "We're taking steps to make our economy more fair and prosperous for all."
Republicans have said the designation is not fairly applied in some cases. Asked whether this was the administration’s attempt to get rid of “too big to fail,” Mnuchin said, “President Trump is absolutely committed to make sure that taxpayers are not at risk for government bailouts of entities that are too big to fail.”