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Red Tapeworm 2014: Here Are the Federal Agencies that Issue the Most Regulations

This is Part 20 of a series taking a walk through some sections of Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State (2014 Edition)

Each year, a relative handful of Executive agencies accounts for a large number of the rules produced. The five executive departments and agencies listed nearly—the departments of the Treasury, Interior, Commerce,Transportation and Health and Human Services—were the biggest rulemakers in 2013.

These top five, with 1,451 rules among them, account for 44 percent of the 3,305 rules in the Federal Unified Agenda pipeline.

A little surprisingly, for the second time, the Environmental Protection Agency does not appear in the top five (it is sixth). Including the EPA’s 179 rules brings the total to 1,953 rules, or 48 percent.

(There had been 223 EPA rules the prior year, and no one believes EPA is regulating less. We’ve seen earlier that rules were delayed for political purposes, and also that a large portion of federal rules no longer get listed in the Unifed Agenda following new top-down directives.)

Also shown nearby are the top five Independent agencies in terms of rules in the Agenda pipeline. They are: Federal Communications Commission, Securities and Exchange Commmission, Office of Personnel Management, Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Social Security Administration.

Their total of 359 rules is 11 percent of the 3,305 rules in the Agenda.

The top five Executive and Independent agency components, combined, come to 55 percent of the total.

  • Part 1: Guess Which Is the Largest Government on Earth?
  • Part 2: Tardy Bureaucrats Gone Wild
  • Part 3: Reckoning the Dollar Cost of Federal Regulation
  • Part 4: Regulations Catching Up to Government Spending?
  • Part 5: Regulations Cost More than Federal Income Taxes
  • Part 6: The Federal Government “Eats” 31 Percent Of The U.S. Economy
  • Part 7: U.S. Regulation Compared to the World’s Largest Economies
  • Part 8: The High Cost of Overcriminalization 
  • Part 9: Thousands of Federal Register Pages
  • Part 10: A Record Number of Federal Register Final Rule Pages
  • Part 11: Federal Register Pages Per Decade
  • Part 12:  Number of Proposed and Final Rules In the Federal Register
  • Part 13: Cumulative Final Rules in the Federal Register
  • Part 14: The Expanding Code of Federal Regulations
  • Part 15: A Fourth of July Reflection on Presidential Executive Orders and Loss of Liberty
  • Part 16:  Over 24,000 Pen and Phone “Public Notices” Annually
  • Part 17: When Regulations Get Delayed
  • Part 18: Federal Regulatory Disclosure Becomes More Confused
  • Part 19: Federal Regulatory Agenda Consistently Tops 3,000 Rules