This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen floated the idea of a global minimum corporate tax and Amazon workers in Alabama voted against unionizing. The Biden administration on Friday released a $1.52 trillion spending proposal, separate from the $2 trillion infrastructure bill that is still under construction. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from subsistence fishing to robocalls.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 52 final regulations last week, after 48 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 14 minutes.
  • With 876 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,269 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,327 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 29 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 62 the previous week.
  • With 591 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,205 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 309 notices last week, after 422 notices the previous week.
  • With 5,738 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,657 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,205 new pages were added to the Federal Register in a three-day week, after 984 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 282 pages.
  • With 18,881 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 70,451 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting 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. There are two such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020, and four in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 14 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2020, with one in the last week. This is on pace for 52 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 163 new rules affect small businesses. Four are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.