The Trump administration is already digging graves for some of the regulatory rules put into place by the Dodd-Frank financial reform act — but the legislation never fully lived in the first place.
About 30 percent of the rules mandated by the sweeping reform package have yet to be implemented after years of being held up by legal action and the complexity of the task handed to regulators. After the bill was signed into law in 2010, many of the nearly 400 new rules were waylaid as they were run through the rule-making process of regulatory agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodities Futures Trading Commission.
Take, for example, anti-corruption rule requiring that energy companies disclose the payments they make to foreign governments. Republicans in Congress summarily killed the rule last month. The law required the SEC to have that rule in place by April 2011, but the agency didn't issue a rule until 2012, when it was immediately challenged in court by industry groups and struck down in 2013 by a federal judge. After being sued for its delay in creating a rule, the SEC finally issued one in 2015. The new rule became effective in September 2016 — just four months before it was wiped out by the GOP-led Congress.
Countless other rules also stalled during the Obama administration, and some now may never be finalized. While most deadlines were about a year after the law was instituted, actual rule-making has progressed slowly every year since then. As of this week, about 72 percent of rules have been finalized, according to data from the law firm Davis Polk, which has been tracking the law's many provisions for years.