Biden’s yearly Federal Register second-highest page count ever, could still score number one

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The Federal Register is the daily depository of rules and regulations. Today, the count stood at  86,256 pages, with three weeks to go for Joe Biden’s administration.

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The all-time record was set by Barack Obama in his final year with 95,894 pages.

Until today, the second-highest spot was held by Donald Trump. That’s somewhat counterintuitive, but is partly explained by the fact that Trump’s regulatory agenda was driven by a cost-cap effort calling for the elimination of at least two rules whenever a significant regulatory action was added.

Given the Administrative Procedure Act, the Trump administration could not simply eliminate a rule. A new rule would need to be written to replace or streamline what was already there. While George W. Bush does squeak in with a ranking, notable is that Obama holds six of the top 10 spots. This can be seen in the chart below (updated regularly) depicting the 20 highest Federal Register page counts.

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While Biden is unlikely to top Obama’s record count without a major rules dump, each day between now and December 31 he’ll be setting a new record for second place. Ninety thousand pages would not be a surprise, however. At this point, the page count has topped 80,000 seven times.