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Mr. Regulation: Obama adds 17,522 pages of new regs, has 3 years to go

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Business,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama,George W. Bush,Government Regulation

President Obama's administration has added a whopping 17,522 pages of new regulations, expanding the "Code of Federal Regulations" by 11 percent with still three more years in office, a report from Competitive Enterprise Institute says.

According to a new report from Clyde Wayne Crews, CEI's vice president for policy, Obama has averaged adding 3,504 pages annually to the Code. By comparison, former President George W. Bush added 2,584 annually over his final four years, and 2,490 annually over his full eight years in office.

What's more: The new numbers include Obama's pre-election slowdown of regulation issuances of just 939 pages between 2012 and 2013, said Crews.

"Obama’s pace of regulation exceeds his predecessor ... despite his being prone to proclamations like that made during the 2012 State of the Union Address, 'I’ve approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his,' " said Crews. "Obama doesn’t say things like that anymore. Instead, at this phase of his presidency, he promises to act without Congress wherever possible."

The Code is more authoritative in calculating federal regulations than the oft-cited Federal Register, which includes other government notices, said Crews.

He said that the Code is the “Archive-Of-All” and is big. For example, in 1960, the Code contained 22,877 pages in 68 volumes. At the end of 2013, according to data from National Archives, it contained 175,496 pages. At the end of Bush's term, there were 157,974 pages. There were 235 volumes as of 2012.

Here is CEI's breakdown of the Code of Federal Regulations for the past decade:

2000: Total pages – 138,049	

2001: Total: 141,281; pages added 3,232

2002: Total: 145,099; added 3,818

2003: Total: 144,177; 922 pages cut

2004: Total: 147,639; added 3,462

2005: Total: 151,973; added 4,334

2006: Total: 154,107; added 2,134

2007: Total: 156,010; added 1,903

2008: Total: 157,974; added 1,964

2009: Total: 163,333; added 5,359

2010: Total: 165,494; added 2,161

2011: Total: 169,295; added 3,801

2012: Total: 174,557; added 5,262

2013: Total :175,496; added 939

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.