U.S. DOT tops Federal Register

News AASHTO Journal July 16, 2003
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At the top of five leading rule-producing agencies under the Bush Administration during 2002 was the U

At the top of five leading rule-producing agencies under the Bush Administration during 2002 was the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to an analysis of the largest-ever Federal Register by the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.


The Federal Register logged in with 75,606 pages of rules in 2002 and the U.S. DOT led with 511 on such things as "daytime running-light glare, door retention and brake-hose reliability standards, side and roof crashworthiness and radiator safety capes," writes the Institute's Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. Daily, the Federal Register averaged 300 pages and the 2002 edition topped the Clinton Administration's 2000 version, which had 74,528 pages. In the Bush Administration's first year, 2001, the Federal Register had 69,591 pages.


"Many such rules are well intended. Others are questionable," writes Crews, who has analyzed the Federal Register the last seven years. "But voters' connection to those who regulate is severed: Congress takes credit for popular regulatory initiatives, but can then blame agencies for cost."


Even under a Republican-led Congress, it passed and the president signed 269 bills into law in 2002. Regulatory agencies issued 4,167 final rules, leading the Institute to assert "evidence that unelected federal regulators do a considerable bulk of the lawmaking in the U.S."



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