Ronald Reagan's Executive Order on the Family
Guideline for Formulating a National Family Policy
On September 2, 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 12606 (which unfortunately later revoked by one of his successors). It is found online at http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12606.html:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, and in order to ensure that the autonomy and rights of the family are considered in the formulation and implementation of policies by Executive departments and agencies, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Family Policymaking Criteria. In formulating and implementing
policies and regulations that may have significant impact on family formation, maintenance, and general well-being, Executive
departments and agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law, assess such measures in light of the following questions:
(a) Does this action by government strengthen or erode the stability of the family
and, particularly, the marital commitment?
(b) Does this action strengthen or erode
the authority and rights of parents in the education, nurture, and supervision of their children?
(c) Does this action help the family perform its functions, or does it substitute governmental activity for the function?
(d) Does this action by government increase or decrease family earnings? Do the proposed
benefits of this action justify the impact on the family budget?
(e) Can this activity
be carried out by a lower level of government or by the family itself?
message, intended or otherwise, does this program send to the public concerning the status of the family?
(g) What message does it send to young people concerning the relationship between their behavior, their personal responsibility, and the norms of our society?
Sec. 2. Governmentwide Family Policy Coordination and Review.
(a) Executive departments
and agencies shall identify proposed regulatory and statutory provisions that may have significant potential negative impact
on the family well-being and provide adequate rationale on why such proposal should be submitted. The head of the department
or agency, shall certify in writing that, to the extent permitted by law, such measure has been assessed in light of the criteria
in Section 1 of this Order and how such measures will enhance family well-being. Such certification shall be transmitted to
the Office of Management and Budget. Departments and agencies shall give careful consideration to family-related concerns
and their impact in notices of proposed rulemaking and messages transmitting legislative proposals to the Congress.
(b) The Office of Management and Budget shall, to the extent permitted by law, take action to ensure that the policies of the Executive departments and agencies are applied in light of the criteria set forth in Section 1 of this Order.
(c) The Office of Policy Development shall assess existing and proposed policies and regulations that impact family well-being in light of the criteria established by Section 1 of this Order, provide evaluations on those measures that have significant potential impact on the family to the Office of Management and Budget, and advise the President on policy and regulatory actions that may be taken to strengthen the institutions of marriage and family in America.
Sec. 3. Report. The Office of Policy Development shall submit preliminary reports including specific recommendations to the Domestic Policy Council and shall submit a final report to the President no later than 180 days from the date of this Order. Each year thereafter, a report, including recommendations shall be submitted, through the Domestic Policy Council to the President.
Sec. 4. Judicial Review. This Order is intended to improve the internal management of the Executive branch and is not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.