This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
In a pre-recess Parthian shot, the Senate passed a massive new spending bill that would increase federal spending by $320 billion over two years and delay the next debt ceiling vote until after the next election. Within hours of the Senate’s adjournment, President Trump also announced a new round of tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods. Rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from refrigerator safety to uncertified leghemoglobin.
On to the data:
- Last week, 61 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 66 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 1,662 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,789 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
- Last week, agencies published 488 notices, for a total of 12,855 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,569 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,656.
- Last week, 1,484 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,450 pages the previous week.
- The 2019 Federal Register totals 37,954 pages. It is on pace for 63,682 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. Two such rules have 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 $205.1 million to $294.8 million. The 2018 total ranges from $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
- Agencies have published 39 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
- So far in 2019, 283 new rules affect small businesses; 14 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:
- The State Department is looking at ways to make its IT infrastructure more accessible.
- Reporting requirements for hearing aid-compatible handsets.
- Uncertified leghemoglobin.
- Several transportation-related agencies are revising their penalty fines.
- The Patent and Trademark Office is continuing its shift to electronic filing.
- Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Oil and Gas Activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska.
- Due to a court order, the grizzly bear is being re-added to the endangered species list.
- A correction to the previous week’s rule concerning human traffickers and commercial driver’s licenses.
- The Homewood Wedding Fireworks Display in Lake Tahoe.
- The Commodity Credit Corporation has a Trade Mitigation Program. It is part of the Trump administration’s much larger program for the same.
- Enforcement Discretion Regarding General Conformity Certificates for the Requirements of the Refrigerator Safety Act.
- Revised safety standards for carriages and strollers.
For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.