This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


Not one, but two potential Federal Reserve Board nominees withdrew from consideration last week, and economic growth and unemployment remained in excellent health. Meanwhile, with the 2019 Federal Register poised to exceed 20,000 pages this week, rulemaking agencies issued new regulations from TV channel lineups to postal products.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 53 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 45 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 10 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 867 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,521 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 528 notices, for a total of 7,184 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 20,884 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
  • Last week, 1,746 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,330 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 19,681 pages. It is on pace for 57,213 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 27 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 156 new rules affect small businesses; 11 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.