All Commentary
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Busybody Regulators Set a New World Record

Last week, we were getting a new regulation every two hours and 27 minutes.

Thanksgiving week was a busy one, with new regulations ranging from potatoes to royalties. Meanwhile, the 2016 Federal Register, as of Black Friday, is already nearly 4,000 pages past the all-time record previously set in 2010, with all of December still to go. The midnight rush is on.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 85 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 59 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 27 minutes.
  • With 3,389 final regulations published so far in 2016, the federal government is on pace to issue 3,732 regulations in 2016. Last year’s total was 3,406 regulations.
  • Last week, 2,292 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 3,724 pages the previous week.
  • Currently at 85,396 pages, the 2016 Federal Register is on pace for 94,049 pages. This would well exceed the 2010 Federal Register’s previous all-time record adjusted page count of 81,405.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. 29 such rules have been published so far in 2016, none in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2016’s economically significant regulations ranges from $23.5 billion to $36.2 billion.
  • 269 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published this year.
  • So far in 2016, 574 new rules affect small businesses; 98 of them are classified as significant. 

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.

Republished from CEI.

  • Ryan Young is the Competitive Enterprise Institute's fellow focusing on regulatory and monetary policy and financial regulation. He also hosts CEI’s weekly podcast and writes the popular “Regulation of the Day.”