Federal Register weekly update: Total documents published in 2020 tops 20,000

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 September 14 to September 18, the Federal Register grew by 2,702 pages for a year-to-date total of 59,172 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the Federal Register reached 49,634 pages and 48,200 pages, respectively. As of September 18, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 9,538 pages and the 2018 total by 10,972 pages.

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

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 608 documents:

• 449 notices
• five presidential documents
• 55 proposed rules
• 99 final rules

Four final rules concerning railroad construction, financial requirements for swap dealers, bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis, and pension benefit statements 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 24 significant proposed rules, 54 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of September 18.

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.

Click here to find more information about weekly additions to the Federal Register in 2019, 2018, and 2017: Changes to the Federal Register

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




About the author

Caitlin Styrsky

Caitlin Styrsky is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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