This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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Congress is back in session this week, but that’s almost certainly not the only bad news the coming days will bring. Please do all you can to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Hopefully Congress will also act on some of the #NeverNeeded regulations that are hindering the pandemic response. Meanwhile, regulatory agencies issued new final regulations ranging from telehealth corrections to red crab specifications.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 49 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 66 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 26 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 933 final regulations in 2020. At that pace, there will be 3,110 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,150 regulations.
  • There were also 61 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, for a total of 645 on the year. At that pace, there will be 2,150 new proposed regulations in 2020. Last year’s total was 2,184 proposed regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 419 notices, for a total of 6,527 in 2020. At that pace, there will be 21,757 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,804.
  • Last week, 1,352 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,306 pages the previous week.
  • The 2020 Federal Register totals 21,738 pages. It is on pace for 72,460 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 19 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2019’s total was 66 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2020, 184 new rules affect small businesses; seven 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.