This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Congress returned from recess, the Democratic presidential candidates had a debate, and the 2019 federal deficit topped $1 trillion with a month left to go in the federal fiscal year. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from Kaspersky Lab services to Foskett speckled dace.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 88 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 51 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every one hour and 55 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,079 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,920 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 413 notices, for a total of 15,205 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,356 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,656.
  • Last week, 1,431 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,240 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 48,545 pages. It is on pace for 68,125 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. Four such rules have been published this year. Six such rules were published in 2018.
  • The running cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from savings of $4.30 billion to $4.44 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The 2018 total ranges from net costs of $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 47 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 352 new rules affect small businesses; 15 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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