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This Week in Ridiculous Regulations   

The number of new regulations this year passed 2,500 last week, and the Federal Register surpassed 60,000 pages. This week could see big news on everything from a possible trade deal with China to impeachment testimony. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from handling Florida tomatoes to rural telephone banks.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 58 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 55 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 54 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,557 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,946 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 370 notices, for a total of 18,879 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,750 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,656.
  • Last week, 1,591 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,685 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 60,881 pages. It is on pace for 70,140 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. Five such rules were published in 2018.
  • The running cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from savings of $4.39 billion to $4.08 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 59 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 424 new rules affect small businesses; 20 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.