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This Week in Ridiculous Regulations 

Congress and President Trump passed a spending bill to avoid another shutdown, but President Trump’s national emergency declaration over a non-emergency provides a troubling precedent that future presidents could also abuse, regardless of how this battle plays out in the courts. Republicans are forgetting a cardinal rule of politics: never give yourself powers you don’t want the other side to have. Meanwhile, new regulations for the week range from telling time during emergencies to electronic olive grower meetings.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 86 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 73 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every one hour and 57 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 209 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 1,633 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 707 notices, for a total of 2,070 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 16,172 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
  • Last week, 1,577 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 934 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 4,659 pages. It is on pace for 36,399 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 7 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 34 new rules affect small businesses; two 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.