Category Archives: regulation

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The latest Mad Libs-style political feud involves the NBA, the television cartoon South Park, and the Chinese government. President Trump also issued a pair of executive orders intended to rein in regulatory dark matter, and the 2019 Federal Register topped 55,000 pages. Rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from modern swine slaughter to order forms for illegal drugs.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 68 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 97 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 28 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,360 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,980 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 507 notices, for a total of 17,206 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,725 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,656.
  • Last week, 1,712 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,937 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 55,015 pages. It is on pace for 69,464 pages. The 2018 total was 68,302 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. Five such rules were published in 2018.
  • The running cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from savings of $4.39 billion to $4.08 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 57 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 397 new rules affect small businesses; 20 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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CEI Commends White House for Executive Action Restricting Use of Regulatory Dark Matter

This is a CEI press statement, originally posted at CEI.org.

The White House today announced President Trump will sign two Executive Orders aimed at stopping the practice of agencies using guidance documents to effectively implement policy without going through the legally required notice and comment process. CEI Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews has long advocated executive action aimed at curtailing the use of “Regulatory Dark Matter” or guidance documents.

CEI Vice President for Policy and A Partial Eclipse of the Administrative State: A Case for an Executive Order to Rein in Guidance Documents and other “Regulatory Dark Matter” author Wayne Crews said:

“I commend President Trump and the White House for taking strong executive action aimed at restraining agencies from using guidance documents or ‘Regulatory Dark Matter’ to effectively implement policy without at least adhering to the legally required notice and comment process created by the Administrative Procedure Act nor submitting guidance to Congress and the GAO as required for review. CEI has long been making the case that the Administrative State cannot be tamed until the proliferation of guidance and dark matter is addressed. This executive order is a vital start; in the future, Congress will also need to act in order to completely stop the practice of regulating through guidance documents.

“In the absence of a Congress willing to address this important issue, it is critical for the president to sign executive orders like these in order to advance the cause of regulatory reform and cement his legacy as a deregulatory president.”

CEI President Kent Lassman said:

“Progress was made today. The President makes clear through executive orders that undemocratic, unresponsive, and unaccountable agency action is on a path to extinction. More work is required to reestablish a proper separation of powers and limits on administrative authority however the executive orders on guidance, regulatory dark matter, and transparency are a necessary disinfectant to a diseased regulatory state.”

CEI Senior Fellow Ryan Young said:

“Restoring a healthier separation of powers requires effort from all three branches. Hopefully today’s Executive Order will jump-start that needed process. Congress now needs to strengthen transparency and other protections against agency abuses with legislation, which is more permanent than an Executive Order.

“This has so far been a missed opportunity for congressional Democrats, who have an opportunity to rein in a too-powerful executive branch, and to do it with bipartisan cooperation. Over in the judicial branch, the Supreme Court needs to end the judiciary’s near-automatic acquiescence to agencies in upcoming cases concerning Chevron deference and Auer deference.”

Read more:

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Non-impeachment news involved a major court ruling on net neutrality, plus a new tariff. This year’s Federal Register is on pace to surpass last year’s after a nearly 2,000-page week. Rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from modern swine slaughter to order forms for illegal drugs.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 97 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 73 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every one hour and 44 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,292 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,969 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 501 notices, for a total of 16,699 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,631 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,656.
  • Last week, 1,937 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,727 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 53,302 pages. It is on pace for 69,045 pages. The 2018 total was 68,302 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. Five such rules were published in 2018.
  • The running cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from savings of $4.39 billion to $4.08 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 57 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 388 new rules affect small businesses; 20 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.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Congress is out of session for the next two weeks, and the impeachment investigation will likely dominate headlines for some time to come. Meanwhile, the 2019 Federal Register topped 50,000 pages and rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from toll-free numbers to voluntary rabbit grading.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 73 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 46 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 18 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,195 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,919 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 421 notices, for a total of 16,198 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,540 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,656.
  • Last week, 1,727 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,084 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 51,363 pages. It is on pace for 67,804 pages. The 2018 total was 68,302 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 50 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 373 new rules affect small businesses; 16 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.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The House passed a continuing resolution to avoid a federal shutdown until November 21st. The Senate will likely follow suit this week. The 2019 Federal Register will also almost certainly top 50,000 pages this week. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from gooseberry fruit to meat grades.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 46 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 88 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 39 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,122 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,899 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 418 notices, for a total of 15,777 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,554 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,656.
  • Last week, 1,084 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,431 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 49,633 pages. It is on pace for 67,804 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, 360 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.

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.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Contrary to my earlier prediction, the number of new regulations this year did not pass 2,000 last week, ending the four-day week at 1,991. Meanwhile, Hurricane Dorian spared Alabama despite fears to the contrary. Brexit drama reached a fever pitch in the UK, the Chinese government signaled a willingness to resume trade talks, and state attorneys general launched an antitrust investigation of Facebook. Rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from patent priorities to general service lamps.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 51 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 64 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 3 hours and 18 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,991 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,878 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 367 notices, for a total of 14,946 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,599 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,656.
  • Last week, 1,240 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,334 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 47,114 pages. It is on pace for 68,084 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. Three such rules have 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 $294.9 million to $439.2 million. The 2018 total ranges from $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 45 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 338 new rules affect small businesses; 14 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.