Snowy weather may have closed government offices today, but the Federal Register never stops growing.
Last week, the government managed to add 67 final rules to the Federal Register, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Sixty-seven may seem like a lot, but the government added 87 the week prior. Still, the 67 seven rules amounted to a whopping 1,415 additional pages in the Federal Register. If you do the math, that would be the equivalent of adding a new regulation about every 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Since the start of 2014, 14,593 pages have been published in the Federal Register. At this pace the register will mushroom to 72,965 pages by the end of the year. This would actually be the lowest total since President Obama took office in 2009.
More important than the number of regulations, is the cost of each individual new rule. So far this year, eight regulations have been deemed “economically significant” – meaning they have estimated compliance costs of over $100 million.
Three and a half months into the year, this category of regulations is already costing American taxpayers and business owners an estimated $616 million to $887 million. This figure does not include the several billion dollars in government spending required to implement the rules.
Both of the “economically significant” regulations from last week are associated with the Obama administration’s health care law. One of the rules, which deals with benefit and payment parameters, will cost the government a predicted $62 to $69 billion between 2015 and 2017. Paperwork and compliance cost alone will add up to $2.35 million.
The second “economically significant” regulation from the previous week is the costly Basic Health Program (BHP), which is a program aimed at giving low income individuals access to healthcare within his or her state. The BHP will affect $17.19 billion over 2015-2019. The rule declined to gague the compliance costs of implementing the program.
While the Federal Register continues to grow almost hourly, the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) has also dramatically increased its size since Obama took office.
The CFR, which is the “codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government,” has experienced an 11 percent increase in the past five years.
CEI’s OpenMarket notes that since 2009, President Obama has averaged 3,504 CFR pages annually.
His predecessor, President George W. Bush, added an average of 2,584 pages during his final four years. Over eight years in the White House Bush had a cumulative average of 2,490 CFR pages annually.
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