The Obama administration turned up the regulatory spigot and published 21 new regulations in the last week that will cost the economy nearly $5 billion, signaling a slew of “midnight” regulations may be on the way.
“This is either the beginning of a midnight uptick in regulation or an otherwise busy week for federal regulators,” Sam Batkins, the director of regulatory policy at the right-leaning American Action Forum, wrote in a report.
Batkins, an expert on federal regulations, found federal agencies finalized 19 new regulations last week totaling $2.4 billion in costs, but only $623 million in benefits. Batkins also pointed to another two recently-finalized rules costing businesses $2.3 billion.
The White House is increasing the number of rules it pushes out every week as federal agencies rush to finish regulations before President Barack Obama leaves office in January. The Obama administration’s latest Unified Agenda had 1,019 final rules ready to be put on the books.
“This week, [the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)] received nine regulations, up from four last week; all but two were final rules and five were economically significant,” Batkins wrote.
“OIRA discharged 16 regulations, up from five from last week, including eight economically significant measures, up from just one last week,” he wrote. “During a 48-hour period, OIRA approved ten rules, including six economically significant measures.”
Federal agencies recently shattered a regulatory record, publishing 527 pages worth of rules in just one day. The Federal Register already has 81,640 pages — more than any other year. Regulations cost the economy nearly $1.9 trillion every year, according to experts.