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How Federal Regulations Are Made
For more information on the federal rulemaking process, see:
Current Federal Regulations
Regulations are laws passed by agencies to implement statutes. Regulations passed by federal agencies are published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), available from:
Federal Rulemaking Materials
The process of passing regulations is called rulemaking or notice and comment, because it primarily consists of publishing notices of proposed regulations with requests for comment.
Federal rulemaking is supervised by an agency called the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), part of the Office of Management and Budget.
Publishes notices of proposed regulations with requests for comment. Previously published both online and in print; now online only at FederalRegsister.gov.
Federal Register (govinfo)
Copies of the Federal Register from their first publication in 1936 to the present, provided by the U.S. Government Publishing Office.
Many federal agencies allow the public to submit comments and view others' comments at regulations.gov
Unified Regulatory Agenda
Federal agencies publish their long-term plans for making regulations in the Uniform Regulatory Agenda available on OIRA's website (1995-).
Unified Regulatory Agenda (govinfo)
The Unified Regulatory Agenda is also available on govinfo (1994-2010, PDF).
OIRA Letters to Agencies
As part of its role in supervising the rulemaking process, OIRA sends letters to agencies, including:
Return letters: rejecting proposed regulations
Prompt letters: suggesting regulations
Review letters: making other suggestions