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This Week in Ridiculous Regulations   

Congress is out of session for the next two weeks, and the impeachment investigation will likely dominate headlines for some time to come. Meanwhile, the 2019 Federal Register topped 50,000 pages and rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from toll-free numbers to voluntary rabbit grading.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 73 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 46 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 18 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,195 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,919 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 421 notices, for a total of 16,198 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,540 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,656.
  • Last week, 1,727 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,084 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 51,363 pages. It is on pace for 67,804 pages. The 2018 total was 68,302 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. Four such rules have been published this year. Six such rules were published in 2018.
  • The running cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from savings of $4.30 billion to $4.44 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The 2018 total ranges from net costs of $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 50 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 373 new rules affect small businesses; 16 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.