Regulatory Relief To Support Economic Recovery, 31353-31356 [2020-11301]

Download as PDF 31353 Federal Register Presidential Documents Vol. 85, No. 100 Friday, May 22, 2020 Title 3— Executive Order 13924 of May 19, 2020 The President Regulatory Relief To Support Economic Recovery In December 2019, a novel coronavirus known as SARS–CoV–2 (‘‘the virus’’) was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China, causing an outbreak of the disease COVID–19, which has now spread globally. The Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency on January 31, 2020, under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d), in response to COVID–19. In Proclamation 9994 of March 13, 2020 (Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID–19) Outbreak), I declared that the COVID–19 outbreak in the United States constituted a national emergency, beginning March 1, 2020. I have taken sweeping action to control the spread of the virus in the United States, including by suspending entry of certain foreign nationals who present a risk of transmitting the virus; implementing policies to accelerate acquisition of personal protective equipment and bring new diagnostic capabilities to laboratories; and pressing forward rapidly in the search for effective treatments and vaccines. Our States, tribes, territories, local communities, health authorities, hospitals, doctors and nurses, manufacturers, and critical infrastructure workers have all performed heroic service on the front lines battling COVID–19. Executive departments and agencies (agencies), under my leadership, have helped them by taking hundreds of administrative actions since March, many of which provided flexibility regarding burdensome requirements that stood in the way of implementing the most effective strategies to stop the virus’s spread. The virus has attacked our Nation’s economy as well as its health. Many businesses and non-profits have been forced to close or lay off workers, and in the last 8 weeks, the Nation has seen more than 36 million new unemployment insurance claims. I have worked with the Congress to provide vital relief to small businesses to keep workers employed and to bring assistance to those who have lost their jobs. On April 16, 2020, I announced Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a framework for safely re-opening the country and putting millions of Americans back to work. Just as we continue to battle COVID–19 itself, so too must we now join together to overcome the effects the virus has had on our economy. Success will require the efforts not only of the Federal Government, but also of every State, tribe, territory, and locality; of businesses, non-profits, and houses of worship; and of the American people. To aid those efforts, agencies must continue to remove barriers to the greatest engine of economic prosperity the world has ever known: the innovation, initiative, and drive of the American people. By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to combat the economic consequences of COVID–19 with the same vigor and resourcefulness with which the fight against COVID–19 itself has been waged. Agencies should address this economic emergency by rescinding, modifying, waiving, or providing exemptions from regulations and other requirements that may inhibit economic recovery, consistent with applicable law and with protection of the public health and safety, with national and homeland security, and with budgetary priorities and operational feasibility. They should also give 31354 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Presidential Documents businesses, especially small businesses, the confidence they need to reopen by providing guidance on what the law requires; by recognizing the efforts of businesses to comply with often-complex regulations in complicated and swiftly changing circumstances; and by committing to fairness in administrative enforcement and adjudication. Sec. 2. Definitions. (a) ‘‘Emergency authorities’’ means any statutory or regulatory authorities or exceptions that authorize action in an emergency, in exigent circumstances, for good cause, or in similar situations. (b) ‘‘Agency’’ has the meaning given in section 3502 of title 44, United States Code. (c) ‘‘Administrative enforcement’’ includes investigations, assertions of statutory or regulatory violations, and adjudications by adjudicators as defined herein. (d) ‘‘Adjudicator’’ means an agency official who makes a determination that has legal consequence, as defined in section 2(d) of Executive Order 13892 of October 9, 2019 (Promoting the Rule of Law Through Transparency and Fairness in Civil Administrative Enforcement and Adjudication), for a person, except that it does not mean the head of an agency, a member of a multi-member board that heads an agency, or a Presidential appointee. (e) ‘‘Pre-enforcement ruling’’ has the meaning given it in section 2(f) of Executive Order 13892. (f) ‘‘Regulatory standard’’ includes any requirement imposed on the public by a Federal regulation, as defined in section 2(g) of Executive Order 13892, or any recommendation, best practice, standard, or other, similar provision of a Federal guidance document as defined in section 2(c) of Executive Order 13892. (g) ‘‘Unfair surprise’’ has the meaning given it in section 2(e) of Executive Order 13892. Sec. 3. Federal Response. The heads of all agencies are directed to use, to the fullest extent possible and consistent with applicable law, any emergency authorities that I have previously invoked in response to the COVID– 19 outbreak or that are otherwise available to them to support the economic response to the COVID–19 outbreak. The heads of all agencies are also encouraged to promote economic recovery through non-regulatory actions. Sec. 4. Rescission and waiver of regulatory standards. The heads of all agencies shall identify regulatory standards that may inhibit economic recovery and shall consider taking appropriate action, consistent with applicable law, including by issuing proposed rules as necessary, to temporarily or permanently rescind, modify, waive, or exempt persons or entities from those requirements, and to consider exercising appropriate temporary enforcement discretion or appropriate temporary extensions of time as provided for in enforceable agreements with respect to those requirements, for the purpose of promoting job creation and economic growth, insofar as doing so is consistent with the law and with the policy considerations identified in section 1 of this order. Sec. 5. Compliance assistance for regulated entities. (a) The heads of all agencies, excluding the Department of Justice, shall accelerate procedures by which a regulated person or entity may receive a pre-enforcement ruling under Executive Order 13892 with respect to whether proposed conduct in response to the COVID–19 outbreak, including any response to legislative or executive economic stimulus actions, is consistent with statutes and regulations administered by the agency, insofar as doing so is consistent with the law and with the policy considerations identified in section 1 of this order. Pre-enforcement rulings under this subsection may be issued without regard to the requirements of section 6(a) of Executive Order 13892. (b) The heads of all agencies shall consider whether to formulate, and make public, policies of enforcement discretion that, as permitted by law and as appropriate in the context of particular statutory and regulatory Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Presidential Documents 31355 programs and the policy considerations identified in section 1 of this order, decline enforcement against persons and entities that have attempted in reasonable good faith to comply with applicable statutory and regulatory standards, including those persons and entities acting in conformity with a pre-enforcement ruling. (c) As a result of the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic, the Department of Health and Human Services, including through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other agencies have issued, or plan to issue in the future, guidance on action suggested to stem the transmission and spread of that disease. In formulating any policies of enforcement discretion under subsection (b) of this section, an agency head should consider a situation in which a person or entity makes a reasonable attempt to comply with such guidance, which the person or entity reasonably deems applicable to its circumstances, to be a rationale for declining enforcement under subsection (b) of this section. Non-adherence to guidance shall not by itself form the basis for an enforcement action by a Federal agency. Sec. 6. Fairness in Administrative Enforcement and Adjudication. The heads of all agencies shall consider the principles of fairness in administrative enforcement and adjudication listed below, and revise their procedures and practices in light of them, consistent with applicable law and as they deem appropriate in the context of particular statutory and regulatory programs and the policy considerations identified in section 1 of this order. (a) The Government should bear the burden of proving an alleged violation of law; the subject of enforcement should not bear the burden of proving compliance. (b) Administrative enforcement should be prompt and fair. (c) Administrative adjudicators should be independent of enforcement staff. (d) Consistent with any executive branch confidentiality interests, the Government should provide favorable relevant evidence in possession of the agency to the subject of an administrative enforcement action. (e) All rules of evidence and procedure should be public, clear, and effective. (f) Penalties should be proportionate, transparent, and imposed in adherence to consistent standards and only as authorized by law. (g) Administrative enforcement should be free of improper Government coercion. (h) Liability should be imposed only for violations of statutes or duly issued regulations, after notice and an opportunity to respond. (i) Administrative enforcement should be free of unfair surprise. (j) Agencies must be accountable for their administrative enforcement decisions. Sec. 7. Review of Regulatory Response. The heads of all agencies shall review any regulatory standards they have temporarily rescinded, suspended, modified, or waived during the public health emergency, any such actions they take pursuant to section 4 of this order, and other regulatory flexibilities they have implemented in response to COVID–19, whether before or after issuance of this order, and determine which, if any, would promote economic recovery if made permanent, insofar as doing so is consistent with the policy considerations identified in section 1 of this order, and report the results of such review 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. Sec. 8. Implementation. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, shall monitor 31356 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Presidential Documents compliance with this order and may also issue memoranda providing guidance for implementing this order, including by setting deadlines for the reviews and reports required under section 7 of this order. Sec. 9. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect: (i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or (ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals. (b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. (c) Notwithstanding any other provision in this order, nothing in this order shall apply to any action that pertains to foreign or military affairs, or to a national security or homeland security function of the United States (other than procurement actions and actions involving the import or export of non-defense articles and services). (d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. THE WHITE HOUSE, May 19, 2020. [FR Doc. 2020–11301 Filed 5–21–20; 11:15 am] Billing code 3295–F0–P

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 100 (Friday, May 22, 2020)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 31353-31356]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-11301]



[[Page 31351]]

Vol. 85

Friday,

No. 100

May 22, 2020

Part IV





The President





-----------------------------------------------------------------------



Executive Order 13924--Regulatory Relief To Support Economic Recovery


                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / 
Presidential Documents

___________________________________________________________________

Title 3--
The President

[[Page 31353]]

                Executive Order 13924 of May 19, 2020

                
Regulatory Relief To Support Economic Recovery

                In December 2019, a novel coronavirus known as SARS-
                CoV-2 (``the virus'') was first detected in Wuhan, 
                Hubei Province, People's Republic of China, causing an 
                outbreak of the disease COVID-19, which has now spread 
                globally. The Secretary of Health and Human Services 
                declared a public health emergency on January 31, 2020, 
                under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 
                U.S.C. 247d), in response to COVID-19. In Proclamation 
                9994 of March 13, 2020 (Declaring a National Emergency 
                Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) 
                Outbreak), I declared that the COVID-19 outbreak in the 
                United States constituted a national emergency, 
                beginning March 1, 2020.

                I have taken sweeping action to control the spread of 
                the virus in the United States, including by suspending 
                entry of certain foreign nationals who present a risk 
                of transmitting the virus; implementing policies to 
                accelerate acquisition of personal protective equipment 
                and bring new diagnostic capabilities to laboratories; 
                and pressing forward rapidly in the search for 
                effective treatments and vaccines. Our States, tribes, 
                territories, local communities, health authorities, 
                hospitals, doctors and nurses, manufacturers, and 
                critical infrastructure workers have all performed 
                heroic service on the front lines battling COVID-19. 
                Executive departments and agencies (agencies), under my 
                leadership, have helped them by taking hundreds of 
                administrative actions since March, many of which 
                provided flexibility regarding burdensome requirements 
                that stood in the way of implementing the most 
                effective strategies to stop the virus's spread.

                The virus has attacked our Nation's economy as well as 
                its health. Many businesses and non-profits have been 
                forced to close or lay off workers, and in the last 8 
                weeks, the Nation has seen more than 36 million new 
                unemployment insurance claims. I have worked with the 
                Congress to provide vital relief to small businesses to 
                keep workers employed and to bring assistance to those 
                who have lost their jobs. On April 16, 2020, I 
                announced Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a 
                framework for safely re-opening the country and putting 
                millions of Americans back to work.

                Just as we continue to battle COVID-19 itself, so too 
                must we now join together to overcome the effects the 
                virus has had on our economy. Success will require the 
                efforts not only of the Federal Government, but also of 
                every State, tribe, territory, and locality; of 
                businesses, non-profits, and houses of worship; and of 
                the American people. To aid those efforts, agencies 
                must continue to remove barriers to the greatest engine 
                of economic prosperity the world has ever known: the 
                innovation, initiative, and drive of the American 
                people.

                By the authority vested in me as President by the 
                Constitution and the laws of the United States of 
                America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

                Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United 
                States to combat the economic consequences of COVID-19 
                with the same vigor and resourcefulness with which the 
                fight against COVID-19 itself has been waged. Agencies 
                should address this economic emergency by rescinding, 
                modifying, waiving, or providing exemptions from 
                regulations and other requirements that may inhibit 
                economic recovery, consistent with applicable law and 
                with protection of the public health and safety, with 
                national and homeland security, and with budgetary 
                priorities and operational feasibility. They should 
                also give

[[Page 31354]]

                businesses, especially small businesses, the confidence 
                they need to re-open by providing guidance on what the 
                law requires; by recognizing the efforts of businesses 
                to comply with often-complex regulations in complicated 
                and swiftly changing circumstances; and by committing 
                to fairness in administrative enforcement and 
                adjudication.

                Sec. 2. Definitions. (a) ``Emergency authorities'' 
                means any statutory or regulatory authorities or 
                exceptions that authorize action in an emergency, in 
                exigent circumstances, for good cause, or in similar 
                situations.

                    (b) ``Agency'' has the meaning given in section 
                3502 of title 44, United States Code.
                    (c) ``Administrative enforcement'' includes 
                investigations, assertions of statutory or regulatory 
                violations, and adjudications by adjudicators as 
                defined herein.
                    (d) ``Adjudicator'' means an agency official who 
                makes a determination that has legal consequence, as 
                defined in section 2(d) of Executive Order 13892 of 
                October 9, 2019 (Promoting the Rule of Law Through 
                Transparency and Fairness in Civil Administrative 
                Enforcement and Adjudication), for a person, except 
                that it does not mean the head of an agency, a member 
                of a multi-member board that heads an agency, or a 
                Presidential appointee.
                    (e) ``Pre-enforcement ruling'' has the meaning 
                given it in section 2(f) of Executive Order 13892.
                    (f) ``Regulatory standard'' includes any 
                requirement imposed on the public by a Federal 
                regulation, as defined in section 2(g) of Executive 
                Order 13892, or any recommendation, best practice, 
                standard, or other, similar provision of a Federal 
                guidance document as defined in section 2(c) of 
                Executive Order 13892.
                    (g) ``Unfair surprise'' has the meaning given it in 
                section 2(e) of Executive Order 13892.

                Sec. 3. Federal Response. The heads of all agencies are 
                directed to use, to the fullest extent possible and 
                consistent with applicable law, any emergency 
                authorities that I have previously invoked in response 
                to the COVID-19 outbreak or that are otherwise 
                available to them to support the economic response to 
                the COVID-19 outbreak. The heads of all agencies are 
                also encouraged to promote economic recovery through 
                non-regulatory actions.

                Sec. 4. Rescission and waiver of regulatory standards. 
                The heads of all agencies shall identify regulatory 
                standards that may inhibit economic recovery and shall 
                consider taking appropriate action, consistent with 
                applicable law, including by issuing proposed rules as 
                necessary, to temporarily or permanently rescind, 
                modify, waive, or exempt persons or entities from those 
                requirements, and to consider exercising appropriate 
                temporary enforcement discretion or appropriate 
                temporary extensions of time as provided for in 
                enforceable agreements with respect to those 
                requirements, for the purpose of promoting job creation 
                and economic growth, insofar as doing so is consistent 
                with the law and with the policy considerations 
                identified in section 1 of this order.

                Sec. 5. Compliance assistance for regulated entities. 
                (a) The heads of all agencies, excluding the Department 
                of Justice, shall accelerate procedures by which a 
                regulated person or entity may receive a pre-
                enforcement ruling under Executive Order 13892 with 
                respect to whether proposed conduct in response to the 
                COVID-19 outbreak, including any response to 
                legislative or executive economic stimulus actions, is 
                consistent with statutes and regulations administered 
                by the agency, insofar as doing so is consistent with 
                the law and with the policy considerations identified 
                in section 1 of this order. Pre-enforcement rulings 
                under this subsection may be issued without regard to 
                the requirements of section 6(a) of Executive Order 
                13892.

                    (b) The heads of all agencies shall consider 
                whether to formulate, and make public, policies of 
                enforcement discretion that, as permitted by law and as 
                appropriate in the context of particular statutory and 
                regulatory

[[Page 31355]]

                programs and the policy considerations identified in 
                section 1 of this order, decline enforcement against 
                persons and entities that have attempted in reasonable 
                good faith to comply with applicable statutory and 
                regulatory standards, including those persons and 
                entities acting in conformity with a pre-enforcement 
                ruling.
                    (c) As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 
                the Department of Health and Human Services, including 
                through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 
                and other agencies have issued, or plan to issue in the 
                future, guidance on action suggested to stem the 
                transmission and spread of that disease. In formulating 
                any policies of enforcement discretion under subsection 
                (b) of this section, an agency head should consider a 
                situation in which a person or entity makes a 
                reasonable attempt to comply with such guidance, which 
                the person or entity reasonably deems applicable to its 
                circumstances, to be a rationale for declining 
                enforcement under subsection (b) of this section. Non-
                adherence to guidance shall not by itself form the 
                basis for an enforcement action by a Federal agency.

                Sec. 6. Fairness in Administrative Enforcement and 
                Adjudication. The heads of all agencies shall consider 
                the principles of fairness in administrative 
                enforcement and adjudication listed below, and revise 
                their procedures and practices in light of them, 
                consistent with applicable law and as they deem 
                appropriate in the context of particular statutory and 
                regulatory programs and the policy considerations 
                identified in section 1 of this order.

                    (a) The Government should bear the burden of 
                proving an alleged violation of law; the subject of 
                enforcement should not bear the burden of proving 
                compliance.
                    (b) Administrative enforcement should be prompt and 
                fair.
                    (c) Administrative adjudicators should be 
                independent of enforcement staff.
                    (d) Consistent with any executive branch 
                confidentiality interests, the Government should 
                provide favorable relevant evidence in possession of 
                the agency to the subject of an administrative 
                enforcement action.
                    (e) All rules of evidence and procedure should be 
                public, clear, and effective.
                    (f) Penalties should be proportionate, transparent, 
                and imposed in adherence to consistent standards and 
                only as authorized by law.
                    (g) Administrative enforcement should be free of 
                improper Government coercion.
                    (h) Liability should be imposed only for violations 
                of statutes or duly issued regulations, after notice 
                and an opportunity to respond.
                    (i) Administrative enforcement should be free of 
                unfair surprise.
                    (j) Agencies must be accountable for their 
                administrative enforcement decisions.

                Sec. 7. Review of Regulatory Response. The heads of all 
                agencies shall review any regulatory standards they 
                have temporarily rescinded, suspended, modified, or 
                waived during the public health emergency, any such 
                actions they take pursuant to section 4 of this order, 
                and other regulatory flexibilities they have 
                implemented in response to COVID-19, whether before or 
                after issuance of this order, and determine which, if 
                any, would promote economic recovery if made permanent, 
                insofar as doing so is consistent with the policy 
                considerations identified in section 1 of this order, 
                and report the results of such review 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.

                Sec. 8. Implementation. The Director of the Office of 
                Management and Budget, in consultation with the 
                Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and the 
                Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, shall 
                monitor

[[Page 31356]]

                compliance with this order and may also issue memoranda 
                providing guidance for implementing this order, 
                including by setting deadlines for the reviews and 
                reports required under section 7 of this order.

                Sec. 9. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order 
                shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or 
the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget 
relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

                    (b) This order shall be implemented consistent with 
                applicable law and subject to the availability of 
                appropriations.
                    (c) Notwithstanding any other provision in this 
                order, nothing in this order shall apply to any action 
                that pertains to foreign or military affairs, or to a 
                national security or homeland security function of the 
                United States (other than procurement actions and 
                actions involving the import or export of non-defense 
                articles and services).
                    (d) This order is not intended to, and does not, 
                create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, 
                enforceable at law or in equity by any party against 
                the United States, its departments, agencies, or 
                entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any 
                other person.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    May 19, 2020.

[FR Doc. 2020-11301
Filed 5-21-20; 11:15 am]
Billing code 3295-F0-P