Justice delays swimming pool regs for 60 days, maybe longer

Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday delayed a rule for 60 days that will require public access swimming pools around the country to install handicapped-accessible ramps or lifts — or face fines of up to $100,000.

The controversial rule has hotels and other community pools worried about the possible ramifications of non-compliance, and has prompted the Justice Department to conduct outreach to these groups as the March 15, 2012, implementation date approached. But on the compliance date, Holder signed an order that extended the date for 60 days, and also signed a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) seeking public comment on whether even more time is needed before the rule takes effect.


Bankers pressure Senate leaders to avoid credit union bill

The American Bankers Association (ABA) and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) on Thursday called on Senate leaders not to take up legislation that would expand the ability of credit unions to lend to small businesses.

Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would push for a vote on a stand-alone credit union bill in the near future, and implied that the bill deserves a vote in light of Sen. Mark Udall's (D-Colo.) relentless efforts to pass it. He also acknowledged opposition from banks, but said a vote would be held nonetheless.


Grassley slams Dems for Violence Against Women Act strategy

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Thursday accused Senate Democrats of rushing legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in a bid to make it appear that Republicans oppose the bill.

"The Violence Against Women Act program has strong bipartisan support in the Senate," Grassley said. "It's a shame that the majority party is manufacturing another partisan, political crisis, because in actuality, there is no concern that the VAWA will go away."


Senate clears two Obama judicial nominees

The Senate confirmed the first two of President Obama's judicial nominees on Thursday afternoon that will see votes in the Senate in the coming month as the result of deal forged between Senate leaders on Wednesday.