Overnight Regulation: House Republicans highlight top rules for rollback

Overnight Regulation: House Republicans highlight top rules for rollback
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill, the courts and beyond. It's Wednesday evening here in Washington and we're loving the sun. It seems like spring time in January.

Here's the latest.

 

THE BIG STORY

House Republicans unveiled their plan of attack against Obama-era regulations Wednesday, highlighting the top rules they plan to roll back.

The Labor Department's blacklisting rule, Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) stream protection rule, Interior Department's methane emissions rule, a disclosure rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and an obscure gun regulation from the Social Security Administration (SSA) top the list of regulations Republicans are targeting.

GOP lawmakers will turn to the Congressional Review Act to strike down these rules.

"With President Trump's signature, every one of these regulations will be overturned," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.

"In the weeks to come, the House and Senate will use the Congressional Review Act to repeal as many job-killing and ill-conceived regulations as possible," McCarthy added. "That's how to protect American workers and businesses, defend the Constitution, and turn words into action."

The Congressional Review Act will empower Republicans to overturn many regulations without support from Democrats. Under the law, they only need a simple majority to repeal rules that were published in the previous 60 legislative days.

Many Obama-era rules fall outside this window, but Republicans are determined to strike down those they can with the Congressional Review Act. The GOP is also pursuing wider-reaching regulatory reform legislation, but Senate Democrats can block these efforts.

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will delay dozens of Obama-era regulations that have become ensnared by President Trump's regulatory moratorium.

The EPA plans to freeze 30 regulations, most of which were published in the Federal Register after the 2016 election, but have not yet taken effect. They will be delayed until March 21.

An update to the renewable fuel standard published in December is the EPA's highest-profile rule to fall victim to Trump's regulatory moratorium. Emissions standards for wood manufacturers will also be delayed.

This will give Trump's EPA pick, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, time to review the rules after he is, as expected, confirmed by the Senate. At that point, many of the EPA's more controversial rules could be entirely dismantled.

Per Trump's regulatory moratorium, the Transportation Department will also withdraw new regulations for hazardous materials that have not yet been published in the Federal Register. This is one of 18 rules scheduled to be withdrawn Thursday by federal agencies.

Here are a few other rules to keep an eye on that will be published in Thursday's edition of the Federal Register:

--The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will delay automated trading regulations.

The CFTC proposed new rules for automated trading in December 2015, and updated its proposal last November, but is now extending the comment period to give the public more time to consider the changes.

This delay appears to be of the CFTC's own making, and is not related to Trump's regulatory moratorium.

The public has until May 1 to comment.

--The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will delay new conservation regulations that would protect endangered species.

The conservation regulations address enhancement-of-survival permits, which are intended to protect species on non-federal lands. The rules were scheduled to go into effect on Thursday, but will be delayed until March 21 in response to Trump's regulatory moratorium.

--The Small Business Administration (SBA) will delay rules on new investments in certain types of small businesses.

The SBA issued a rule to "expand permitted investments in passive businesses" through the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program in December, but is now delaying the implementation to comply with the regulatory moratorium.

The rule will now go into effect on March 21.

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW 

Texas governor threatens to withhold money from 'sanctuary' country 

Study: Super Bowl spending down in 2017 

Trump delays dozens of EPA regs 

NRA hails Republican attempt to overturn Obama-era 'gun grab'

Florida company gets OK to ship electric cars to Cuba

Trump names acting FTC Chair

Trump touts border crackdown

Trump preparing review of Paris deal, other treaties: report

FDA critic on Trump's shortlist to head agency

White House says it hasn't told agencies to stop tweeting

Legalizing aid in dying doesn't mean patients have access to it – NPR 

Order to halt communication news releases is called routine – The New York Times 

 

BY THE NUMBERS

1: Proposed rule

2: Final rules

(Source: Federal Register)