Week in Regulation

Deregulatory Actions Incoming

A series of deregulatory rulemakings (both proposed and final) stood out in the past week of regulatory policy. Cumulatively, agencies brought net cost savings of roughly $432 million ($62.7 million annually) and 882,911 fewer paperwork burden hours, marking this week as one of the more active deregulatory periods of 2017 thus far. Although, in one of these cost-cutting measures, the agency did note $109 million in forgone annual benefits. The per capita regulatory burden for 2017 is $452.

Regulatory Toplines

  • New Proposed Rules: 35
  • New Final Rules: 56
  • 2017 Total Pages of Regulation: 43,375
  • 2017 Final Rules: $32.9 Billion
  • 2017 Proposed Rules: $111.4 Billion

The American Action Forum (AAF) has catalogued regulations according to their codification in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The CFR is organized into 50 titles, with each title corresponding to an industry or part of government. This snapshot of final rules (a change from earlier versions) will help to determine which sectors of the economy receive the highest number of regulatory actions.

Tracking Regulatory Modernization

Two proposed rules led the way in terms of reducing compliance costs. In fact, they represent the third and fourth most deregulatory proposals published so far this year. The first proposal comes from the Mine Safety and Health Administration and seeks to amend a January 2017 rule’s requirements to “provide mine operators additional flexibility in managing their safety and health programs.” This rulemaking could save affected mining operations $276 million over the next ten years.

The second proposal comes from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). This proposed rule would extend certain compliance dates under a 2015 food safety rule. FDA estimates that is could produce $103 million in total cost savings. Annualized over 10 years at a 7% discount rate, this means annual cost savings of $12 million. However, at that same discount rate, FDA also estimates $109 million in forgone benefits each year due to the increased risk of illness.

There was also a final rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that actually reduced certain reporting requirements. The rule temporarily adjusts the threshold that determines which entities need to report activities under CFPB’s “Home Mortgage Disclosure” regulations. This action could bring annual savings of $30 million and 900,000 hours of paperwork over the next two years.

On regulatory budget implementation, below are the agencies that have accrued annual savings or new costs under the president’s one-in, two-out budget; proposed rules are not included:

  • Defense: -$400 million
  • Interior: -$360.37 million
  • Education: -$100 million
  • Labor: -$78 million
  • Veterans Affairs: -$1.9 million
  • HHS: $23.91 million
  • EPA: $60 million
  • Energy: $34 million

Many of these figures are the result of CRA resolutions of disapproval. Given their historic regulatory output, AAF can predict that Defense, Interior, and Education will likely meet the goal of $0 in net regulatory costs by the end of this fiscal year.

Affordable Care Act

Since passage, based on total lifetime costs of the regulations, the Affordable Care Act has imposed costs of $53 billion in final state and private-sector burdens and 176.9 million annual paperwork hours.


Click here to view the total estimated revised costs from Dodd-Frank; since passage, the legislation has produced more than 74.8 million final paperwork burden hours and imposed $38.9 billion in direct compliance costs.

Total Burdens

Since January 1, the federal government has published $144.3 billion in compliance costs ($32.9 billion in final rules) and has cut 18.2 million paperwork burden hours (due to 23.7 million in reductions from final rules). Click below for the latest Reg Rodeo findings.