This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Teachers’ unions continued to make an eloquent case for school choice by shutting down schools in major cities like Chicago. The country also observed the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riots and the violent attempt to overturn the 2020 election results. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from foreign income to migratory bird permits.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 39 final regulations last week, after 56 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every four hours and 19 minutes.
  • With 39 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 975 final regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 3,257 new final regulations in 2021, President Biden’s first year, and 3,218 in 2020, President Trump’s final year.
  • Agencies issued 17 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 38 the previous week.
  • With 17 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 850 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021, and 2,102 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 283 notices last week, after 328 notices the previous week.
  • With 283 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 14,150 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 21,985 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,059 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,426 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 212 pages.
  • With 1,059 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 55,068 pages.
  • For comparison, the 2021 Federal Register totals 74,352 pages, and 2020’s is 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting 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. There are two such rules so far in 2021, both from the last week.
  • For comparison, there were 26 economically significant rules in 2021, and five in 2020.
  • Since neither of 2022’s economically significant regulations have the required cost estimate, we cannot yet provide a total estimate for their combined cost.
  • For comparison, the running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from $13.54 billion to $19.36 billion. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • There are six new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. This is on pace for 312 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations” in 2021, and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, five new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 260. Two of them are significant, on pace for 104.
  • For comparison, 912 new rules in 2021 affected small businesses, with 101 classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

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

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