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Tipsheet

Cutting Red Tape: Trump Has Lowest Regulation Page Count in A Quarter Century

President Trump has the lowest page count in the Federal Register of government rules and regulations in a quarter century, the Competitive Enterprise Institute noted Friday.

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Calendar year 2017 concluded with 61,950 pages in the Federal Register Friday, down 35 percent from President Obama’s all-time 95,894 page record high just last year.

CEI’s Clyde Wayne Crews said that this is the lowest count since 1993 when Clinton ended with 61,166 pages after his first year in office.

Crews adds that “after the National Archives processes all the blank pages and skips in the 2017 Federal Register, Trump’s final count will ultimately be even lower.” He also notes that some of Trump’s rules were written to get rid of other rules.

He emphasizes that measuring the page counts in the Federal Register may be a poor guide to regulatory impact at best but “Washington doesn't go out of its way to honestly measure itself and disclose regulatory impact.”

The Federal Register closed out with 3,281 final rules within its pages Friday which is the lowest rule count since records began being kept in the mid-1970s. 

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“Trump has made significant strides in reducing the pace of regulation,” Crews concludes. “Rule counts and Federal Register pages are imperfect but useful gauges, and one hopes impel policymakers toward better measurements. As it stands, since a rule has to be written to get rid of a rule, the Federal Register and rule counts can both grow even in a deregulatory environment, unless Congress short-cuts the process with healthy reform legislation.”

The Trump administration has prioritized cutting down on burdensome regulations, with Trump promising on the campaign trail to cut two regulations for every one he created. The White House announced earlier this month that they’ve actually eliminated 22 regulations for every one created this year.

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