This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes called for breaking up the company; CEI’s Iain Murray and Kent Lassman explain why that’s a bad idea. CEI also released the 2019 edition of “Ten Thousand Commandments.” On Friday, President Trump enacted a new 25 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies issued new regulations ranging from tariff applications to habitat descriptions.
On to the data:
- Last week, 58 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 53 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 54 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 925 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,542 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
- Last week, agencies published 434 notices, for a total of 7,618 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 20,929 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
- Last week, 1,081 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,746 pages the previous week.
- The 2019 Federal Register totals 20,764 pages. It is on pace for 57,044 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, 167 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:
- Commercials for Medicare of Medicaid-eligible drugs will now be required to include a list price. Possible unintended consequence: drug companies might decline to ask for Medicare or Medicaid coverage for certain drugs.
- Reserve requirements for banks.
- Water carrier tariff filing procedures.
- A fentanyl-based drug is being placed in schedule I, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s most severe controlled substance category.
- An increase in H-2B visas for non-immigrants.
- The Fish and Wildlife Service is revising its definitions of species’ protected habitat. Basically, they’re going for less text description and relying more on maps.
- Another spearmint oil regulation. That’s 162 since 1994.
For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.