This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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The March Madness college basketball tournament began, continuing this month’s theme. Ukrainians continued to fight valiantly against Putin’s army, while ordinary Russian people are showing signs of dissent. The Fed raised the federal funds rate, and indicated it will likely raise rates throughout the year as a way to fight inflation. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from updating fax numbers to suspicious activity requirements.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 69 final regulations last week, after 66 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 26 minutes.
  • With 685 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 3,231 final regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 3,257 new final regulations in 2021, President Biden’s first year, and 3,218 in 2020, President Trump’s final year.
  • Agencies issued 30 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 35 the previous week.
  • With 448 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,113 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021, and 2,102 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 413 notices last week, after 504 notices the previous week.
  • With 4,724 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 22,283 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,693 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,585 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 299 pages.
  • With 15,837 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 74,703 pages.
  • For comparison, the 2021 Federal Register totals 74,352 pages, and 2020’s is 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 three such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week.
  • This is on pace for 14 economically significant regulations in 2022.
  • For comparison, there were 26 economically significant rules in 2021, and five in 2020.
  • The total cost of 2022’s economically significant regulations so far is $187 million. However, only one of the three such rules issued this year gives the required cost estimates, so that figure is incomplete.
  • For comparison, the running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from $13.54 billion to $19.36 billion. 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.
  • There are 51 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. This is on pace for 241 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021, and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 199 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 939. Eighteen of them are significant, on pace for 83.
  • For comparison, there were 912 rules in 2021 affecting small businesses, with 101 of them 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.