This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
The number of new final regulations this year topped 1,000 last Tuesday, and President Trump and Congress entered Memorial Day weekend at odds on issues ranging from infrastructure to the renegotiated NAFTA/USMCA trade agreement. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies marked the unofficial start of summer with new regulations ranging from temporary safety zones to potato handling.
On to the data:
- Last week, 77 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 55 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 11 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 1,057 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,616 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
- Last week, agencies published 503 notices, for a total of 8,615 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,325 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
- Last week, 1,668 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,925 pages the previous week.
- The 2019 Federal Register totals 24,362 pages. It is on pace for 60,302 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 29 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
- So far in 2019, 191 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:
- With lots of summer fireworks shows and swimming and boating events coming up, the Coast Guard issued 21 regulations for various stretches of river throughout the country, mostly to establish temporary safety zones.
- Potato handling.
- New Medicare Part D regulations with dual goals of lower drug prices and lower out-of-pocket costs. Many economists argue that these goals often work against each other; this rule will likely not work as intended.
- Again with the entities: Addition of Entities to the Entity List, and Addition of Certain Entities to the Entity List, Revision of an Entry on the Entity List, and Removal of an Entity from the Entity List.
- The Office of Management and Budget is implementing new Freedom of Information Act compliance regulations.
- The Federal Communications Commission is expanding the flexible use of the 3.7-4.2GHz band of wireless spectrum.
For more data, see “Ten Thousand Commandments” and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.