This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
Coronavirus continued to spread, the Democratic presidential field significantly narrowed, and the former head of the UAW was charged with embezzlement. Meanwhile, agencies issued new final regulations ranging from electrical shock therapy to spiny dogfish specifications.
On to the data:
- Last week, 59 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 86 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 51 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 559 final regulations in 2020. At that pace, there will be 3,106 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 2,964 regulations.
- There were also 30 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, for a total of 393 on the year. At that pace, there will be 2,269 new proposed regulations in 2020. Last year’s total was 2,184 proposed regulations.
- Last week, agencies published 420 notices, for a total of 3,865 in 2020. At that pace, there will be 21,473 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,804.
- Last week, 1,284 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,938 pages the previous week.
- The 2020 Federal Register totals 13,474 pages. It is on pace for 74,856 pages. The 2019 total was 76,288 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. Four such rules were published in 2019.
- The running cost tally for 2020’s economically significant regulations ranges from net savings of between $180 million and $4.69 billion. 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 16 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2019’s total was 66 significant final rules.
- So far in 2020, 107 new rules affect small businesses; six 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:
- The Postal Regulatory Commission has new procedures for developing views.
- The FDA has a new electrical shock therapy regulation.
- Ethical standards for U.S. Department of Agriculture lawyers.
- The Disaster Loan Program is being discontinued.
- A referendum is happening soon on whether to continue federal marketing assistance for California kiwifruit growers.
- Coronavirus-related travel restrictions on arrivals from China and Iran.
- A slight loosening of Lacey Act-related paperwork for plant imports below a certain minimum amount.
- Somewhat relatedly, there are new reporting requirements for importing fruits and vegetables.
- In addition to selling crop insurance, the federal government gives money to farmers who do not buy crop insurance.
- Scholarships for health professionals.
- Financial reports for trust accounts in which labor unions are invested.
- Spiny dogfish specifications.
For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.