Tagfederal government

DeSantis leads PredictIt’s 2024 general presidential election market

As of January 23, 2023, PredictIt’s 2024 presidential market shows Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) leading at $0.31, followed by President Joe Biden (D) at $0.29, former President Donald Trump (R) at $0.21, and California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) at $0.12. No other candidate has more than a $0.10 share price. The share price, which rises and falls based on market demand, roughly corresponds to the market’s estimate of the probability of an event taking place.

Trump is the only candidate of this group to have officially announced his presidential campaign.

The Democratic presidential primary market shows Biden leading the pack at $0.52. Two other candidates have a share price at or above $0.10: California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) is at $0.20, and Vice President Kamala Harris (D) is at $0.11.

DeSantis currently leads in the Republican presidential primary market at $0.38, followed by Trump at $0.32. No other candidate has a share price at or above $0.10. 

PredictIt is an online political futures market in which users purchase shares relating to the outcome of political events using real money. Each event, such as an election, has a number of contracts associated with it, each correlating to a different outcome. Services such as PredictIt can be used to gain insight into the outcome of elections. Due to action from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, PredictIt may halt trading on February 15, 2023.



U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D) defeats U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores (R) in TX-34

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D) defeated U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores (R) in the general election for Texas’ 34th Congressional District on Nov. 8, 2022. This election was one of two U.S. House races in which two incumbents faced off in the general election.

Texas’ congressional district boundaries were redrawn after the 2020 census. According to data from Daily Kos, voters in the redrawn 34th District backed Joe Biden (D) over Donald Trump (R) 57.3% to 41.8% in the 2020 presidential election.

Gonzalez was first elected to represent Texas’ 15th Congressional District in 2016. Gonzalez’s campaign website said, “Vicente has stood by our promise to veterans, helping constituents cut through red tape at the VA and working across the aisle to prevent the shameful deportation of our honorably discharged veterans. He’s working to lower prescription drug prices, protect the benefits and healthcare of seniors, and ensure that jobs and opportunities are there for all with the ganas to work. … As a Congressman, he is delivering billions to support our schools, families, and small businesses and continues helping South Texans recover the federal benefits they are owed.”

Flores was elected to represent the old 34th district in a June 2022 special election to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Filemon Vela (D). Flores’ campaign website stated, “As the first Mexican-born woman to serve in Congress, I am fighting for opportunity and security for all those living in our amazing district. Our America First policies resonate with the Hispanic community and others who live in this district. For over 100 years, the Democrat Party has taken for granted the loyalty and support South Texas has given them for decades. But they do nothing to earn our vote or our support. And meanwhile, President Biden is killing Texas jobs, weakening border security, and weakening our standing in the world. Enough is enough.”

The Texas Tribune‘s Matthew Choi described the race as “a high-drama, multi-month affair of desperate pleas, dashed hopes and political gamesmanship that highlighted the stakes of when national forces come into play in a hyperlocal race.”

According to Insider‘s Hanna Kang and Dorothy Cucci, “As of early November, several dozen super PACs, national party committees, politically active nonprofits, and other non-candidate groups … together spent about $10.9 million to advocate for or against candidates in this race, including during the race’s primary phase. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a national Republican hybrid PAC that backs Flores, alone [accounted] for nearly half that spending.”

All 435 House districts were up for election on Nov. 8.



Federal Register weekly update: 1,378 pages added

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, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.

From September 26 through September 30, the Federal Register grew by 1,378 pages for a year-to-date total of 59,632 pages.

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

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 596 documents:

  1. 502 notices
  2. Three presidential documents
  3. 30 proposed rules
  4. 61 final rules

Four proposed rules, including the use of a single institutional review board (IRB) to review Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated research from the Food and Drug Administration, two final rules, including reporting requirements for beneficial ownership from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and three notices, including amounts for inpatient hospital deductibles and hospital and extended care services coinsurance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 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 Biden administration has issued 170 significant proposed rules, 186 significant final rules, and four significant notices as of September 30.

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.

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Click here to find yearly information about additions to the Federal Register from 1936 to 2019:

https://ballotpedia.org/Historical_additions_to_the_Federal_Register,_1936-2019



Analysis of major party candidates on the primary ballot for U.S. Senate and U.S. House seats in 2022

In 2022, 2,422 major party candidates appeared on the primary ballot for 474 seats in the U.S. Congress. The seats included 34 U.S. Senate seats, the seats of all 435 U.S. Representatives, and the seats of five of the six non-voting delegates to the U.S. House.

Of the 2,422 candidates who appeared on the primary ballot, 989, or 40.83%, were Democrats, and 1,433, or 59.17%, were Republicans. 

In the U.S. Senate: 

  • There were 304 major party candidates on the primary ballot this year, including 119 Democrats, or 39.14% of all candidates who ran, and 185 Republicans, or 60.86% of all candidates who ran.
  • The 119 Democrats who appeared on the primary ballot this year were 11 more than the 108 who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and 33 more than the 86 who appeared in 2018.
  • The 185 Republicans who appeared on the ballot were 62 more than the 123 who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and 44 more than the 141 who appeared in 2018.

  • The percentage of major party candidates this year who identified as Democrats was lower than in 2020, when 46.75% of major party candidates did, but higher than in 2018, when 37.89% did.
  • Conversely, the percentage of major party candidates who identified as Republicans this year was higher than in 2020, when 53.25% did, but lower than in 2018, when 62.11% did.

  • There were 3.5 Democratic candidates on the ballot per U.S. Senate seat this year. That’s more than the 3.27 Democrats per seat who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and the 2.61 Democrats per seat who appeared in 2018.
  • There were 5.44 Republican candidates on the ballot per U.S. Senate seat in 2022. That’s more than the 3.73 Republicans per seat who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and the 4.27 Republicans per seat who appeared in 2018.

In the U.S. House

  • There were 2,118 major party candidates on the primary ballot this year, including 870 Democrats, or 41.08%% of all candidates who ran, and 1,248 Republicans, or 58.92% of all candidates who ran.

  • The 870 Democrats who appeared on the primary ballot this year were 75 fewer than the 945 who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and 211 fewer than the 1,081 who appeared in 2018.
  • The 1,248 Republicans who appeared on the ballot were 195 more than the 1,053 who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and 382 more than the 866 who appeared in 2018.
  • The percentage of major party candidates this year who identified as Democrats was lower than in 2020, when 47.3% of major party candidates did, and in 2018, when 55.52% did.
  • Conversely, the percentage of major party candidates who identified as Republicans this year was higher than in 2020, when 52.7% did, and in 2018, when 44.48% did. 

  • There were 1.98 Democratic candidates on the ballot per U.S. House seat this year. That’s fewer than the 2.14 Democrats per seat who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and the 2.46 Democrats per seat who appeared in 2018.
  • There were 2.84 Republican candidates on the ballot per U.S. House seat in 2022. That’s more than the 2.39 Republicans per seat who appeared on the ballot in 2020 and the 1.06 Republicans per seat who appeared in 2018.



OIRA reviewed 47 significant rules in July

In July 2022, the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reviewed 47 significant regulatory actions issued by federal agencies. OIRA approved six of these rules with no changes and approved the intent of 40 rules while recommending changes to their content. One rule was withdrawn from the review process by the issuing agency.

OIRA reviewed 43 significant regulatory actions in July 2021, 73 significant regulatory actions in July 2020, 51 significant regulatory actions in July 2019, 36 significant regulatory actions in July 2018, and 19 significant regulatory actions in July 2017.

OIRA has reviewed a total of 260 significant rules in 2022. The agency reviewed a total of 502 significant rules in 2021, 676 significant rules in 2020, 475 significant rules in 2019, 355 significant rules in 2018, and 237 significant rules in 2017.

As of August 1, 2022, OIRA’s website listed 105 regulatory actions under review.

​​OIRA is responsible for reviewing and coordinating what it deems to be all significant regulatory actions made by federal agencies, with the exception of independent federal agencies. Significant regulatory actions include agency rules that have had or may have a large impact on the economy, environment, public health, or state and local governments and communities. These regulatory actions may also conflict with other regulations or with the priorities of the president.

Every month, Ballotpedia compiles information about regulatory reviews conducted by OIRA. To view this project, visit: https://ballotpedia.org/Completed_OIRA_review_of_federal_administrative_agency_rules

Additional reading:

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs



Federal Register weekly update: Tops 250 significant documents

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, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.

From July 18 through July 22, the Federal Register grew by 1,352 pages for a year-to-date total of 43,984 pages.

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

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 535 documents:

  • 445 notices
  • Five presidential documents
  • 41 proposed rules
  • 44 final rules

Seven proposed rules, including an amendment to the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards from the Housing and Urban Development Department, and five final rules, including amendments to regulations regarding the claims and appeals process for programs administered by the Veterans Health Administration from the Veterans Affairs Department 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 Biden administration has issued 119 significant proposed rules, 136 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of July 22.

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:

Historical additions to the Federal Register, 1936-2019



Biden White House has 474 employees, according to annual report

Photo of the White House in Washington, D.C.

On July, 1, 2022, the White House released its annual report to Congress on personnel, which details White House staff members and their salaries. 

The Biden White House includes 474 staff members according to the report. Sixty-three staff members are detailees temporarily assigned to the White House from another agency or department. The other 411 staff members are employees.

In 2021, the Biden Administration reported that it had 560 staff members. Twenty-six staff members were detailees temporarily assigned to the White House from another agency or department. The other 536 staff members were employees.

The average salary in the Biden White House is $102,095.

The highest-paid staff member according to the 2022 report was Francis Collins, a detailee serving as acting science advisor to the president. Collins’ annual salary was $300,000. Twenty-seven staff members earned $180,000 or more.

Sixteen staff members received no salary. The majority of individuals receiving no salary (9) were policy advisors.

The largest share of employees (153) received salaries between $60,000 and $89,999, and the second largest (114) received $90,000 and $119,999.

See the chart below for the average salary of paid White House staff members in the Biden, Trump, and Obama administrations between 2013 and 2022. Salaries between 2013 and 2021 were inflation-adjusted to 2022 dollars.



U.S. weekly unemployment insurance claims rise to 235,000

New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits rose 4,000 for the week ending July 2 to a seasonally adjusted 235,000. The four-week moving average as of July 2 rose to 232,500 from 231,750 as of the week ending June 25.

The number of continuing unemployment insurance claims, which refers to the number of unemployed workers who filed for benefits at least two weeks ago and are actively receiving unemployment benefits, rose 51,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.375 million for the week ending June 25. Reporting for continuing claims lags one week.

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

Additional reading:

Unemployment insurance

Unemployment insurance fraud



Federal Register weekly update: Highest weekly document total so far in 2022

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, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.

From Jan. 24 through Jan. 28, the Federal Register grew by 1,342 pages for a year-to-date total of 4,762 pages.

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

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 614 documents:

  • 509 notices
  • Zero presidential documents
  • 40 proposed rules
  • 65 final rules

Five proposed rules, including a request for information to determine whether the energy conservation standards for consumer furnaces need to be amended from the Energy Department, and seven final rules, including a withdrawal of an emergency temporary standard to require employers of 100 or more employees to implement a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 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 Biden administration has issued 16 significant proposed rules, 24 significant final rules, and zero significant notices as of Jan. 28.

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:



The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reviewed a total of 502 significant regulatory actions issued by federal agencies in 2021

The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reviewed a total of 502 significant regulatory actions issued by federal agencies in 2021. 

Under the Trump administration, the agency reviewed a total of 676 significant rules in 2020, 475 significant rules in 2019, 355 significant rules in 2018, and 237 significant rules in 2017. Between 2009-2016, the Obama administration reviewed an average of 545 significant regulatory actions each year.

As of January 3, 2022, OIRA’s website listed 72 regulatory actions under review.

OIRA is responsible for reviewing and coordinating what it deems to be all significant regulatory actions made by federal agencies, with the exception of independent federal agencies. Significant regulatory actions include agency rules that have had or may have a large impact on the economy, environment, public health, or state and local governments and communities. These regulatory actions may also conflict with other regulations or with the priorities of the president.

Every month, Ballotpedia compiles information about regulatory reviews conducted by OIRA. To view this project, please click here.

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