Federal Register weekly update: Highest weekly page total of 2020

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 28 to December 31, the Federal Register grew by 3,154 pages for a year-to-date total of 87,352 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the Federal Register reached 72,564 pages and 68,082 pages, respectively. As of December 31, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 14,788 pages and the 2018 total by 19,270 pages. 

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

Last week’s Federal Register featured the following 470 documents:

  • 386 notices
  • one presidential document
  • 25 proposed rules
  • 58 final rules

One final rule concerning source classification under the Clean Air Act was 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 issued 34 significant proposed rules, 74 significant final rules, and one significant notice.

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: https://ballotpedia.org/Changes_to_the_Federal_Register 

Additional reading:

Click here to find yearly information about additions to the Federal Register from 1936 to 2018: https://ballotpedia.org/Historical_additions_to_the_Federal_Register,_1936-2018