This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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In a very busy week, President Trump signed Phase One of a trade agreement with China on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Senate ratified the USMCA trade agreement and began President Trump’s impeachment trial on the same day. New final regulations for the week range from wheeled stretchers to electronic detonators.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 66 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 62 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 33 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 139 final regulations in 2020. At that pace, there will be 2,896 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 2,964 regulations.
  • There were also 42 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, for a total of 83 on the year. At that pace, there will be 1,730 new proposed regulations in 2020. Last year’s total was 2,106 proposed regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 384 notices, for a total of 698 in 2020. At that pace, there will be 14,542 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,804.
  • Last week, 1,493 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,308 pages the previous week.
  • The 2020 Federal Register totals 3,227 pages. It is on pace for 67,230 pages. The 2019 total was 72,561 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. Four such rules were published in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2020’s economically significant regulations is currently zero. 2019’s total ranges from net savings of $350 million to $650 million, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact number depends on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published five final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2019’s total was 66 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2020, 20 new rules affect small businesses; two of them are classified as significant. 2019’s totals were 501 rules affecting small businesses, with 22 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.