On June 14, 2019, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing each federal agency to “terminate at least one-third of its current [advisory] committees . . . including committees for which the:
(i) stated objectives of the committee have been accomplished;
(ii) subject matter or work of the committee has become obsolete;
(iii) primary functions have been assumed by another entity; or
(iv) agency determines determines that the cost of operation is excessive in relation to the benefits to the Federal Government.”
The Trump administration justified the order as necessary to ensure “good steward[ship] of . . . taxpayers money.” White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere told reporters:
“A government-wide review of [advisory] committees has not been done since 1993, and the President believes it is time to once more review and eliminate ones that are not relevant and providing valuable services.”
Critics have, however, expressed concern that terminating advisory committees will limit the scientific information and advice available to federal agencies and thus undermine science-based decision-making. They note that the cost of maintaining the committees is minimal because federal agencies typically do not pay members for their time and only cover their travel expenses.