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Week in Regulation

The Regulatory Budget Year Concludes

Fiscal year (FY) 2019 concluded on September 30, making that day’s edition of the Federal Register the last chance for agencies to accrue savings for the FY 2019 regulatory budget. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) saved a rule with huge savings for the last day, bringing the FY 2019 total for all executive agencies into net savings territory. Across all proposed and final rules, agencies published $8.2 billion in total net cost savings but added 1.9 million hours of annual paperwork.

REGULATORY TOPLINES

  • New Proposed Rules: 60
  • New Final Rules: 97
  • 2019 Total Pages: 53,209
  • 2019 Final Rule Costs: $24 Billion
  • 2019 Proposed Rule Costs: -$2.1 Billion

TRACKING THE REGULATORY BUDGET

HHS issued the largest rule impacting the regulatory budget this week. It published a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule that revised or repealed more than a dozen regulatory requirements for health care service providers. In doing so, HHS trimmed more than $9.2 billion in present-value regulatory costs from its books, the largest rule by savings in calendar year 2019. These savings brought the Trump Administration into total net savings for FY 2019, with $8.5 billion published for the fiscal year. For more on the FY 2019 regulatory budget results, see This Week’s Regulatory Picture, below.

This week also ushered in FY 2020. Agencies published five final rules designated as either regulatory or deregulatory for the purposes of Executive Order 13,771. The Department of Agriculture finalized a Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection rule with an estimated net-present-value of $741.6 million in savings. Those savings were more than cancelled out by two Department of Transportation rules dealing with pipeline safety, that combine for $772.8 million in present-value costs using the 7 percent discount rate with a perpetual time horizon applied by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for regulatory budget purposes.

For FY 2020, agencies have finalized three deregulatory actions and two regulatory actions, totaling a net $65.4 million in costs. The Trump Administration has yet to release its regulatory budget goal for FY 2020, though it is expected to do so in the coming weeks.

THIS WEEK’S REGULATORY PICTURE

This week, AAF takes a stab at projecting the results of the Trump Administration’s FY 2019 regulatory budget.

There were a few qualified items for This Week’s Regulatory Picture, from the sublime (Katmai National Park’s annual Fat Bear Week) to the ridiculous (the Department of Homeland Security publishing a notice of more than 60 corrections of “technical or typographical errors” in its recent public charge rule). But given the Trump Administration’s focus on deregulation, AAF’s projection of its regulatory budget results ultimately won out.

As a reminder, the Trump Administration set a cumulative goal of $17.9 billion in published total net savings in FY 2019. AAF projects that the administration failed to hit that mark, instead publishing $8.5 billion in savings. For the third consecutive year, though, the administration did end up achieving net savings. The chart below shows the results of each of the three fiscal years of the regulatory budget.

The Trump Administration will issue its final accounting of the regulatory budget later this year. For more analysis on the regulatory budget, be sure the check out the latest episode of The AAF Exchange.

TOTAL BURDENS

Since January 1, the federal government has published $21.9 billion in total net costs (with $24 billion in finalized costs) and 46.6 million hours of net annual paperwork burden increases (with 42.2 million coming from final rules). Click here for the latest Reg Rodeo findings.

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