Administration’s Last Regulatory Pieces to Cost $113 Billion

With only a few months remaining in the president’s term, the administration released its penultimate regulatory agenda. An American Action Forum (AAF) review of the data found at least $113 billion in planned regulatory costs. This would be in addition to the more than $80 billion in final regulatory costs already published in 2016.

With little time to propose and finalize rulemakings by January 20, 2017, the administration listed only 14 new economically significant measures. Here are the notable new measures:

If anyone guessed that August would once again be a popular time for regulation, congratulations. As AAF has detailed in the past, generally when Congress recesses for the summer, regulatory activity increases. This Unified Agenda projects ten notable regulations will be released in August, at a cost of $62.9 billion or roughly 55 percent of all projected future regulatory costs under the Obama Administration.

With regard to “midnight regulation” or rules published after Election Day, but before the next president takes office, there are at least $5.2 billion in planned costs in November and December of 2016. These include a final Renewable Fuels Standard and requirements for Systemically Important Financial Institutions. The administration also plans to expand access to Non-VA Care through its “Veterans Choice Program” during the midnight period.

Below, there are approximately 40 notable rulemakings and their scheduled publication dates.


Agency Stage Rule RIN Cost (in millions)
DOJ Final Implementation of ADA Amendments 1190-AA59 $451
EPA Final Emissions Standards for Fracking 2060-AS30 $530
HHS Final Revision of Nutrition Labels 0910-AF22 $2,008
HHS Final Serving Sizes of Foods 0910-AF23 $2,008
DOL Final Unified and Combined State Plans 1205-AB74 $1,471
DHS Final Retention of Immigrant Workers 1615-AC05
Interior Final Arctic Drilling Regulations 1082-AA00 $1,324
SEC Final Resource Extraction Issuers 3235-AL53 $1,326



Agency Stage Rule RIN Cost (in millions)
DOT Final Commercial Driver’s License Clearinghouse 2126-AB18 $1,634
Energy Final Conservation Standards: Ceiling Fans 1904-AD28 $2,400
CFPB Final Requirements for Prepaid Cards 3170-AA22 $17


August 2016

Agency Stage Rule RIN Cost (in millions)
EPA Final Phase 2: GHG Standards for Heavy-Duty Engines, Vehicles 2060-AS16 $31,100
Energy Final Conservation Standards: Dishwashers 1904-AD24 $7,100
HHS Final Child Care Development Fund 0970-AC67 $2,578
HHS Final Head Start Performance Standards 0970-AC63 $8,343
HUD Final Smoke-Free Public Housing 2577-AC97 $212
Energy Proposed Conservation Standards: Central Air Conditioners 1904-AD37
DOL Final Personal Fall Protection Systems 1218-AB80 $173.2
Energy Final Conservation Standards: Hearth Products 1904-AD35 $1,004
Energy Final Conservation Standards: Gas Furnaces 1904-AD20 $12,270
DHS Final Worker Identification Credential 1625-AB21 $186.1


September-October 2016

Agency Stage Rule RIN Cost (in millions)
HHS Final Treatment for Opioid Disorders 0930-AA22 $955
DOL Final Paid Sick Leave for Contractors 1235-AA13 $142.3
HHS Final Protection of Human Subjects 0937-AA02 $13,342
HHS Final Requirements for Long-Term Care 0938-AR61 $3,018
HHS Final Enhanced Oversight and Accountability 0955-AA00 $650


November-December 2016

Agency Stage Rule RIN Cost (in millions)
Interior Final Waste Prevention and Conservation 1004-AE14 $1,373
HHS Final Restricted Use of Sunlamp Products 0910-AH14 $1,126
Treasury Final Assessment of Fees for Large Banks 1505-AC42
EPA Final Renewable Fuels Standard 2060-AS72 $683
Energy Final Conservation Standards: Ovens 1904-AD15 $600
FED Final Requirements for SIFIs 7100-AE37 $1,500



Agency Stage Rule RIN Cost (in millions)
DOJ Final ADA Guidelines for Passenger Vessels 3014-AA11 $1,088
SEC Final Investment Company Modernization 3235-AL42 $989
SEC Final Standards for Covered Clearing Agencies 3235-AL48 $225
SEC Final Rules for Security Swap Dealers 3235-AL12 $210



Agency Stage Rule RIN Cost (in millions)
DOT Final Requirements for Vehicle Operators 2126-AB66 $5,485
HHS Final Requirements for Discharge Plans 0938-AS59 $1,895
DOT Final Public Transportation Safety Plans 2132-AB23 $1,407
DOE Final Conservation Standards: Boilers 1904-AD01 $863
HHS Final Medicare, CHIP: Program Integrity 0938-AS84 $819
DOT Final Pipeline Safety of Gas Transmission 2137-AE72 $711

Possible Cost: $113 Billion

The $113 billion estimate contains roughly 40 monetized figures out of what will be hundreds of potential final rules. In the waning days of the administration, there is an incredible amount of uncertainty. Which party will capture the White House and Congress in the coming elections? The public does not know the cost of proposed rulemakings not yet published, nor the countless other rules that will be final next year, but were excluded from this agenda. Final costs could balloon or diminish significantly compared to earlier versions.

This is likely the administration’s last Unified Agenda of consequence. Although there were few new surprises, once again projected costs exceed $100 billion. At the current pace, regulators could easily publish more than $200 billion in total costs before the president’s term ends. The Unified Agenda might be a mundane document to most, but its contents have profound consequences for millions of Americans.