This Week in Ridiculous Regulations   


The Michael Cohen hearing shenanigans gobbled up the headlines, but actual substantive news happened regarding talks with China and North Korea—in particular, a planned tariff increase from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods has been delayed “until further notice.” Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from fiberglass mats to wax.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 51 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 50 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 18 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 310 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 1,891 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 465 notices, for a total of 2,991 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 18,238 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
  • Last week, 1,307 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,272 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 7,259 pages. It is on pace for 44,263 pages. The 2018 total was 68,082 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. One such rule has been published this year. Six such rules were published in 2018.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from $139.1 million to $175.8 million. The 2018 total ranges from $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 12 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 61 new rules affect small businesses; three of them are classified as significant. 2018’s totals were 660 rules affecting small businesses, with 29 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.