- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Obama administration is on a course to set a new record for red tape by year’s end.

The 2016 Federal Register hit 75,670 pages on Monday, the ninth-largest on record with still two full months to go, according to Clyde Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

And on Tuesday alone, the administration added hundreds more pages to the Register, ranging from rules on herring fishing in the Atlantic Ocean to food labeling for nut butter spreads.

In a blog post, Mr. Crews said the highest page count ever in the Federal Register was Mr. Obama’s 81,405 pages in 2010.

“It is obvious that this figure will easily be surpassed, probably before December,” he wrote.

By year’s end, seven of the top 10 thickest Federal Registers will belong to Mr. Obama, he predicted.

In 2008, President George W. Bush reached 79,435 pages (currently fourth-highest), and in 2004, Mr. Bush hit 75,675 pages. President Bill Clinton’s top year for pages of rules was 74,258 in 2000, currently 12th on the all-time list.

In August, a study by the conservative American Action Forum found that the federal government since 2009 had issued 600 major regulations totaling $743 billion. It said the Obama administration issues an average of 81 major rules annually with an economic impact of at least $100 million.

At that pace of rulemaking, the study estimated, the administration will issue a total 641 major rules before Mr. Obama leaves office, bringing the total regulatory cost to $813 billion.

By contrast, Mr. Bush issued 426 major rules in eight years.


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