Overnight Regulation: Republicans put Obama coal rule on chopping block

Overnight Regulation: Republicans put Obama coal rule on chopping block

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill, the courts and beyond. It's Tuesday evening here in Washington, where everyone is anticipating President Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

Here's the latest.

 

THE BIG STORY

House Republicans laid out plans Tuesday to strike down a controversial Obama-era coal rule.

The Interior Department's stream protection rule could become just the second regulation in history -- and the first in 16 years -- to be repealed under the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to overturn regulations they disapprove of with a simple majority.

The House will vote Wednesday on whether to overturn it.

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The stream rule prohibits the coal industry from polluting the water sources near mines, but Republicans say this makes it nearly impossible for these companies to operate and is pushing them out of business.

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) called it "one of the most onerous regulations that has come out of the Obama administration."

"Tomorrow, we're turning the page on Obama's war on coal," said Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.).

"There is nothing about 'protection' in this rule," he added. "This was the death mill to coal. It came from an ideologically driven administration. It didn't care about streams. It wanted to do one thing: kill coal."

Critics, though, claim President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are caving to industry at the expense of the environment.

Rep. Rob BishopRob BishopLawmakers push Interior to expand offshore drilling Trump’s new weapon? His Cabinet   Overnight Energy: GOP moves to reform Endangered Species Act MORE (R-Utah), though, dismissed that notion.

"We are not doing anything negative for the environment," he said.

"We're not going back to the 1950s and 1960s, but we will be able to, hopefully, get our coal mines back in operation," added Rep. David McKinleyDavid McKinleyThere’s a way to protect consumers and keep good call center jobs in the U.S. The myth of OTC hearing aids The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-W.Va.). 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) previously announced five Obama-era regulations Republicans intend to overturn this week. After they vote Wednesday on the stream protection rule, lawmakers will turn their attention to the Securities and Exchange Commission's disclosure rule, Labor Department's blacklisting rule, gun restrictions from the Social Security Administration, and the Bureau of Land Management's methane emissions regulation.

The House is also expected next week to strike down another round of Obama-era regulations. McCarthy told reporters Republicans hope to repeal "as many (rules) as possible" over the next two weeks.

But the reach of the Congressional Review Act is limited to rules that were issued in the previous 60 legislative days, which makes it difficult for Republicans to repeal controversial rules from the beginning of the Obama administration.

This is new territory for Republicans. 

The Congressional Review Act was passed in 1996, but has only been successfully used once when President George W. Bush repealed a Clinton-era labor regulation in 2001. 

In the last Congress, Republicans voted to strike down four regulations from the Obama administration, but GOP lawmakers were powerless to overcome vetoes from then-President Obama. With Trump in the White House, they now have a small window to repeal some of the more recent Obama-era regulations. http://bit.ly/2kdSOQD

 

ON TAP FOR WEDNESDAY 

The Senate Judiciary Committee will reconvene at 10:30 a.m. to vote on the confirmation of Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) SessionsFBI opens tip line requesting information on Charlottesville rally Sessions rails against Chicago during visit to Miami DOJ warrant of Trump resistance site triggers alarm MORE (R-Ala.) for attorney general. 

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing to discuss a growth agenda, focusing on reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens.

The Senate Budget Committee will meet to vote on the nomination of Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) to be the director of the White House Office of Budget and Management. 

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing to discuss the electricity sector's efforts to respond to cybersecurity threats.

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

President Trump's regulatory moratorium is slowing new rules for truck drivers, tobacco products, and workplace safety in Wednesday's edition of the Federal Register.

--The Department of Labor (DOL) will delay new workplace safety standards to comply with President Trump's regulatory moratorium.

The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new rules to protect workers from exposure to beryllium on Jan. 9, but is delaying the implementation of those workplace protections.

The beryllium standards will now go into effect on March 21.

--The Department of Transportation (DOT) will delay new training requirements for entry-level truck drivers.

The Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued the training requirements in December, but is now delaying the rules to comply with Trump's regulatory moratorium.

The truck driver training requirements will now go into effect on March 21.

--The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will delay new tobacco rules.

To comply with Trump's regulatory moratorium, the FDA will delay new requirements for tobacco product submissions issued in December that block the agency from reviewing applications that are not written in English.

The submission requirements will now go into effect on March 21.

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW 

Dems delay Sessions vote 

House to repeal Obama coal rule Wednesday 

GOP lawmakers split over Trump LGBT order 

Senate panel approves McMahon to lead Small Business Administration 

Lawmaker to propose abolishing EPA

GOP senator 'concerned' about EPA pick's history of suing the agency

Dems mulling protest of Trump's EPA nominee

Trump scraps signing of cybersecurity executive action

New FCC chief gets to work cutting back regs

Senate easily confirms Trump's Transportation pick

Trump tells drug companies to 'get prices down'

Trump's hard-line actions have an intellectual godfather: Jeff Sessions – The Washington Post 

Bills across the country could increase penalties for protesters – NPR 

 

BY THE NUMBERS

8: Final rules

3: Proposed rules

(Source: Federal Register) 

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Just because you make up a fantasy does not make it real. The next thing we're going to hear is that unicorns voted," Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyImmigration battlefield widens for Trump, GOP Grassley shouldn't allow Senate Democrats to block judicial nominees Trump’s rhetoric and bluster could lose US an ally in Mexico MORE (D-Vt.) said, criticizing President Trump's claims of voter fraud.