Week in Regulation

Reg Freeze Remains in Effect

The dearth of activity in the Federal Register is another manifestation of the current regulatory freeze. There were four regulations with quantified costs or paperwork hours. Total costs increased by just $33 million, with nearly 14,000 paperwork burden hours. Outside of routine airworthiness directives, only independent agencies published notable rulemakings. The per capita regulatory burden for 2017 is $428.

Regulatory Toplines

  • New Proposed Rules: 21
  • New Final Rules: 55
  • 2017 Total Pages of Regulation: 10,440
  • 2017 Final Rules: $27.1 Billion
  • 2017 Proposed Rules: $111.5 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 will help to determine which sectors of the economy receive the highest number of regulatory actions.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposed a new rule for “Uplift Cost Allocation and Transparency.” The measure would require each Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) and Independent System Operator (ISO) to allocate real-time uplift costs only to the participants that actually cause those uplift costs. This will include increased transparency and that is reflected in the slight increase in paperwork: 6,000 hours. Regulatory costs are minimal: $400,000.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced an approved paperwork collection for “Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals.” The new collection imposes slightly less than 8,000 hours of paperwork and does not monetize those costs.

Tracking Regulatory Modernization

The House and Senate have both voted to overturn the Securities and Exchange Commission’s “Resource Extraction” rule and the Department of Interior’s “Stream Protection” measure. If signed, this will eliminate $2.4 billion in costs and 435,000 paperwork burden hours. In addition, the House voted to overturn the Department of Labor’s “Blacklisting” rule, a methane measure for federal lands, “Teacher Preparation Issues,” part of the “Every Students Succeeds Act,” and a measure from the Social Security Administration on firearms data. Currently, Congress and the administration have proposed to eliminate more than $6.6 billion in burdens ($2.2 billion annually) from last-minute Obama-era regulations, along with 6.8 million paperwork burden hours. To date, there have been 23 resolutions of disapproval introduced.

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 $38.5 billion in direct compliance costs.

Total Burdens

Since January 1, the federal government has published $138.7 billion in compliance costs ($27.1 billion in final rules) and has cut 20.8 million paperwork burden hours (due to 24.1 million in reductions from final rules). Click below for the latest Reg Rodeo findings.