Study: 2015 was record year for federal regulation

2015 was a record-setting year for the Federal Register, according to numbers the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., released Wednesday.

This year’s daily publication of the federal government’s rules, proposed rules and notices amounted to 81,611 pages as of Wednesday, higher than last year's 77,687 pages and higher than the all-time high of 81,405 pages in 2010 — with one day to go in 2015.

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In a blog post on the libertarian think tank’s website, the group's vice president for policy, Clyde Wayne Crews, said there have been 3,378 final rules and regulations among the pages of the Federal Register this year. Some of the major final rules included the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and its Waters of the Unites States rule, as well as the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality order.

He said another 2,334 proposed rules were issued in 2015 and are at various stages of consideration. On top of that, President Obama issued 29 executive orders and 31 executive memorandums, among them were agency directives to expand paid family and medical leave and overtime pay.

To combat what he considers to be overregulation, Crews said Congress should repeal the certain statutes, require congressional approval for big rules and enforce maximum requirements set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act.

“The House of Representatives passed the REINS Act (Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny) to do that, but the Senate seems disinclined to pass it and force President Obama’s promised veto,” he wrote in his blog. “If Congress isn’t willing to force Obama to explain why unelected should make laws, it must be because the Republican Congress isn’t willing to end over-delegation."