This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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Negotiators reached a deal on a bipartisan infrastructure bill, at least for now. There were also marathon committee markup sessions for five antitrust bills. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from bean insurance to frozen mangos.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 82 final regulations last week, after 53 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and three minutes.
  • With 1,536 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,200 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,149 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 41 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 24 the previous week.
  • With 1,006 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,096 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 437 notices last week, after 413 notices the previous week.
  • With 10,574 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,029 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,489 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 931 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 282 pages.
  • With 33,851 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 70,523 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 21 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with two in the last week. This is on pace for 44 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 318 new rules affect small businesses. Seven are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

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