Federal Register weekly update: Highest final rule count since October

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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 December 14 to December 18, the Federal Register grew by 2,290 pages for a year-to-date total of 82,870 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the Federal Register reached 70,392 pages and 66,076 pages, respectively. As of December 18, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 12,478 pages and the 2018 total by 16,794 pages. 

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

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 609 documents:

  • 473 notices
  • eight presidential documents
  • 43 proposed rules
  • 85 final rules

One proposed rule concerning energy conservation standards and two final rules regarding express loan programs and egg products inspection were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—defined by the potential to 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 33 significant proposed rules, 71 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of December 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.