Federal Register weekly update; agency rulemaking continues despite coronavirus outbreak

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity.

From March 30 to April 3, the Federal Register grew by 1,604 pages for a year-to-date total of 19,076 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the Federal Register reached 13,794 pages and 15,018 pages, respectively. As of April 3, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 5,282 pages and the 2018 total by 4,058 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 559 documents:
  • 443 notices
  • eight presidential documents
  • 50 proposed rules
  • 58 final rules

Two proposed rules and one final rule were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—meaning that they could have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules. The Trump administration in 2020 has issued 14 significant proposed rules and 19 significant final rules as of April 3.

Not all rules issued by the Trump administration are regulatory actions. Some rules are deregulatory actions pursuant to President Trump’s (R) Executive Order 13771, which requires federal agencies to eliminate two old significant regulations for each new significant regulation issued.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

Additional reading:
Click here to find yearly information about additions to the Federal Register from 1936 to 2018.