This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The news cycle was more sizzle than steak last week. President Trump threatened to shut down the southern border and backed off almost immediately, so no harm was done except to the new NAFTA/USMCA’s hopes of passage. House Democrats also asked for a bunch of presidential documents, but Republicans said no. While all that was going on, rulemaking agencies issued more than 80 new regulations ranging from assaulting pornography to NASA penalties.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 83 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 48 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and two minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 637 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,413 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 533 notices, for a total of 5,322 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 10,160 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
  • Last week, 1,745 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,074 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 13,794 pages. It is on pace for 52,250 pages. The 2018 total was 68,082 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. One such rule has been published this year. Six such rules were published in 2018.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from $139.1 million to $175.8 million. The 2018 total ranges from $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 23 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 120 new rules affect small businesses; 9 of them are classified as significant. 2018’s totals were 660 rules affecting small businesses, with 29 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new final regulations:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.

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