CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

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This week in the world of regulation:

  • Last week, 74 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. This is up from 53 new final rules the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 16 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • All in all, 538 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
  • If this keeps up, the total tally for 2013 will be 3,273 new final rules.
  • Last week, 1,405 new pages were added to the 2013 Federal Register, for a total of 13,976 pages.
  • At its current pace, the 2013 Federal Register will run 85, 220 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. No such rules were published last week, for a total of 9 so far in 2013.
  • The total compliance costs of this year’s economically significant regulations ranges from $2.532 billion to $4.810 billion.
  • So far, 51 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2013.
  • So far this year, 93 final rules affect small business; 13 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • This week’s economically significant rule is part of the health care bill. It sets standards for health benefits and actuarial practices. The Department of Health and Human Services declined to give a number as to what they expect it to cost. Their only nod to transparency is to say that they believe it costs less than $139 million per year, which is the threshold for a “major” rule under the Congressional Review Act, which would require HHS to disclose more data. Since the rule is classified as “economically significant” under Executive Order 12866, I am assuming that this rules costs the bare minimum of $100 million per year for that classification. If HHS deigns to publicly release its cost estimates, I will gladly revise the running compliance cost tally.
  • The federal government has a Citrus Administrative Committee, complete with a website that looks like it was made in 1995. A new rule from the Agricultural Marketing Service changes the membership qualifications.
  • The federal government also sells pecan crop insurance. A new rule updates some of its provisions.
  • The FCC requires broadcasters to “protect and serve children in their audience.” Without going into the First Amendment implications of this policy, the FCC announced that related regulations it originally issued in 2005 became effective as of February 26.

For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.

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