Week in Regulation

A Nearly Break-Even Week

This past week saw a pair of cost-cutting measures square up against a handful of routine Federal Aviation Administration safety directives. The result? A relatively balanced regulatory ledger that saw nominal cost savings overall. Between both proposed and final rules, agencies published $4.9 million in net cost savings. However – in a relatively rare occurrence – none of these rulemakings included official paperwork burden estimates. The per capita regulatory burden for 2018 is negative $3.98.

Regulatory Toplines

  • New Proposed Rules: 27
  • New Final Rules: 58
  • 2018 Total Pages of Regulation: 5,683
  • 2018 Final Rules: -$1.3 Billion
  • 2018 Proposed Rules: $714.4 Million

Tracking Regulatory Modernization

There were two deregulatory actions that contribute savings towards the administration’s “regulatory budget” under Executive Order (EO) 13,771. The first action involves the Department of Defense (DOD) consolidating its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) procedures into a more standardized framework. DOD estimates that this could reduce the “research, review, and compliance time” required to lodge a FOIA request, saving roughly $384,000 annually. The second action, from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), would re-categorize certain “other treated railroad ties” to allow their use as fuel under a less-stringent set of standards. According to EPA’s analysis, this will likely provide affected entities with roughly $326,000 of regulatory relief annually.

According to American Action Forum (AAF) analysis, since the start of FY 2018 (beginning Oct. 1, 2017), executive agencies have promulgated 20 deregulatory actions with quantified cost savings against 5 regulatory measures that impose costs, under the rubric created by EO 13,771 and the administration’s subsequent guidance document on the matter. These rules combine for a net annual savings of roughly $614.5 million. The administration’s goal for FY 2018 is $687 million in net annual savings.

Click here to view AAF’s examination of the administration’s progress under the “one-in, two-out” executive order through the end of Fiscal Year 2017.

State of Major Obama-Era Initiatives

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.

Since passage, the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation has produced more than 82.9 million final paperwork burden hours and imposed $38.9 billion in direct compliance costs.

Total Burdens

Since January 1, the federal government has published $572 million in net costs savings ($1.3 billion from final rules) and new paperwork burdens amounting to 1.5 million hours (however, this includes 709,502 hours cut under final rules). Click here for the latest Reg Rodeo findings.