Category Archives: regulation

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The Notre Dame cathedral in Paris caught fire and sustained heavy damage. The rebuilding will likely take years, though people began politicizing it almost instantly. In other news, the Mueller report was publicly released on Thursday. Cable news networks on both sides of the partisan divide, in a show of unity, have reportedly agreed to report on nothing else for the remainder of 2019. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies issued new regulations from synthetic cannibinoids to grapefruit grading.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 66 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, same as the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 33 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 769 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,530 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 487 notices, for a total of 6,245 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 20,543 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
  • Last week, 1,516 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,286 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 16,600 pages. It is on pace for 54,606 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 25 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 142 new rules affect small businesses; 10 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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Herbert Simon on the REINS Act

Most regulations are issued by the executive branch, not Congress. This limits their accountability to elected officials. Bills such as the REINS Act seek to address this by requiring Congress to vote on major new agency regulations (see my 2016 paper on REINS). One objection to REINS is that it would require an additional 40 to 50 congressional votes per year; Congress often has too much on its plate as it is. Herbert A. Simon foresaw that objection several decades ago on p. 65 of the 4th edition (1997) of 1947’s Administrative Behavior (emphasis in original):

Second, the fact that pressure of legislative work forbids the review of more than a few administrative decisions does not destroy the usefulness of sanctions that permit the legislative body to hold the administrator answerable for any of his decisions.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

In a remarkable human achievement, scientists took the first-ever image of a black hole. The effort took eight telescopes on five continents, five petabytes of data, and an algorithm designed by a team led by MIT grad student Katie Bouman. On a smaller scale, a forthcoming executive order could help rein in “regulatory dark matter,” a cosmological term CEI’s Wayne Crews borrowed to describe regulations that “require compliance without ever having been subject to a period of public comment and review.” Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies issued new regulations ranging from model airplanes to the FBI’s environmental footprint.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 66 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 83 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 33 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 703 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,476 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 455 notices, for a total of 5,758 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 20,275 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
  • Last week, 1,286 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,745 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 15,082 pages. It is on pace for 53,106 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 24 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 129 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.

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.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Pundits spent the week engaging in mortal combat over the Mueller Report, which none of them have read, and spring officially sprung with baseball’s opening day on Thursday. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies issued new regulations ranging from goat scrapie to pulse crop enforcement.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 48 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 59 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 30 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 554 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,271 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 474 notices, for a total of 4,870 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 19,960 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
  • Last week, 1,074 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,277 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 12,046 pages. It is on pace for 49,369 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 20 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 108 new rules affect small businesses; 7 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

As tempers flared over how many “chuggas” to say before “choo-choo,” the 2019 Federal Register topped the 10,000-page mark last week and the number of new final regulations passed 500. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies issued new regulations ranging from swap transactions to liquid mail.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 59 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 69 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 51 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 506 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,259 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 511 notices, for a total of 4,396 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 19,625 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
  • Last week, 1,277 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,102 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 10,969 pages. It is on pace for 48,969 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 18 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 98 new rules affect small businesses; 5 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

President Trump has declared passing the new NAFTA/USMCA as his top legislative priority, but congressional ratification will not be automatic. Mexico and Canada are also refraining from ratifying the deal due to President Trump’s recent steel and aluminum tariffs against them. The Senate also pushed back against his national emergency declaration, and the world mourns with New Zealand after a terrible tragedy. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies issued new regulations ranging from vegetable power of attorney to Honduran archaeology.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 69 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 68 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 21 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 447 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,191 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 494 notices, for a total of 3,885 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 19,045 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
  • Last week, 1,102 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,326 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 9,691 pages. It is on pace for 47,505 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 15 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 92 new rules affect small businesses; 5 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.