Trump orders agencies to cut advisory boards by ‘at least’ one-third to trim waste. Critics wring hands.

(FILE PHOTO by Getty)

President Donald Trump has taken another step toward trimming the size of the bloated federal government by ordering every executive department and agency to trim its own its advisory committees.

“Each agency shall, by September 30, 2019, terminate at least one-third of its current committees,” an executive order signed Friday reads.

Only certain committees will be affected, including those who’ve completed their work, those whose work has become “obsolete,” those whose work has been assumed by another committee or agency and those whose benefits are outweighed by their costs.

Agencies with fewer than three committees won’t be beholden to the order.

Each agency and department will be granted the right to request a waiver. All waivers will be reviewed by Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney.

“The Director may grant such a waiver if the Director concludes it is necessary for the delivery of essential services, for effective program delivery, or because it is otherwise warranted by the public interest,” the executive order notes.

And as a final gift of sorts to those agencies and departments worried about the cuts, when choosing which committees to eliminate, they’ll be allowed to count any committees that were already terminated sometime between Jan 20, 2017 and Friday.

While this move seems unsurprising given the president’s campaign promise to cut regulations and reduce the size of government, the left has already begun crying foul, accusing the president of perpetrating some sinister plot to eliminate science-based guidance from the government.

“For the past two years they have been shrinking and restricting the role of federal science advisory committees,” Gretchen Goldman, the research director with the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union for Concerned Scientists, said in a statement.

“Now they’re removing the possibility of even making decisions based on robust science advice. It’s no longer death by a thousand cuts. It’s taking a knife to the jugular.”

This sentiment has spread like wildfire through the world of left-wing “journalists,” academicians, scientists and activists:

Some would argue that what actually “defies logic and reason” is the rush by members of the left to assume that Trump’s order is a targeted attack on science.

Only once does the executive order use the word science. In the section about exemptions, the order notes that the cutting requirements will not apply to any “advisory committee whose primary purpose is to provide scientific expertise to support agencies making decisions related to the safety or efficacy of products to be marketed to American consumers.”

Critics among the left have also neglected to take into consideration that the cutting requirements will only apply to those agencies who’ve outlived their use.

Moreover, a review of the federal government’s numerous committees hasn’t been conducted since 1993, according to White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere.

“[T]he President believes it is time to once more review and eliminate ones that are not relevant and providing valuable services so that we are good stewards of the taxpayers’ money,” he said in a statement.

It’s the same approach the president has taken with regulations. Besides cutting a number of the economically harmful regulations that former President Barack Hussein Obama had enacted, Trump has also drastically slowed down the roll-out of new regulations.

According to researchers with George Mason University, by only 10 months into Trump’s presidency, the rate of growth for regulations had reportedly dropped to 0.65 percent. This contrasts with the 2.1 percent rate of growth that occurred from 1970 to 2016.

Conversely, under former President Ronald Reagan, considered by many to be one of the greatest Republican presidents in American history, the federal government experienced a 4.8 percent growth in regulations during his first year in office.

Despite the actual facts surrounding Trump’s latest executive order, the fear-mongering rhetoric of left-wing “journalists,” academicians, scientists and activists continues to spread, with hundreds of everyday Americans having already begun saying the same by Saturday afternoon.


Besides being bizarre, these conspiracy theories are also non-factual. America is not transforming into a dictatorship. And no, Trump doesn’t dislike real science. He, his administration and his conservative supporters do however take issue with the social justice-styled pseudoscience of the left that says, among other things, identifying people’s sex by their genitals is wrong …



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Vivek Saxena


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