For the first time since the American Action Forum (AAF) began tracking final regulations published in the Federal Register (going back to 2005), federal agencies published net regulatory cost savings for a calendar year. AAF research found that in 2018 federal agencies finalized 324 regulations with estimated costs, savings, or paperwork impacts (the criteria for tracking on RegRodeo.com) resulting in cost savings of $7.8 billion. The agencies added 9.9 million hours of paperwork.
Rulemaking activity increased notably in the second year of the Trump Administration, following the trend of other recent administrations. The reason for this increase is straightforward: In its second year, an administration has more personnel in place and can advance rules begun in year one. The difference for the Trump Administration is that a significant portion of regulatory activity this year was deregulatory.