FAA sex assault tracking requirement offered as amendment

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) is attaching her proposal to require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to keep track of sexual assaults that are committed on airplanes to a bill about airfare advertising that is scheduled to be marked up on Wednesday.

Norton said her measure, which has been dubbed the Protecting Airline Passengers from Sexual Assaults Act, would help close a loophole in sexual assault reporting that occurs because in-flight sexual assaults are often not investigated properly due to murky jurisdiction rules.

Norton said the airline advertising bill that is scheduled to be marked up on Wednesday by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee “provides an opportunity to move this vital legislation to require the FAA to keep real-time statistics and documentation on sexual assaults on airplanes.


Lawmakers criticize agencies over payday lending regs

Financial regulators came under fire from both House Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday for tightening lending standards for low-income borrowers, particularly with regard to payday loans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have set their sights on stopping predatory lenders from taking advantage of these low-income borrowers, some of whom are so desperate for cash they will agree to pay the high fees and interest rates of payday loans that can send them spiraling into debt. 

But in trying to protect these low-income borrowers, the agencies have gone too far, cutting off their access to the short-term loans that help them pay their most immediate bills, such as rent or medical expenses, the lawmakers said during a House Financial Services Committee hearing. 


Feds to propose Arctic drilling rule ‘shortly’

The federal agency in charge of safety and environmental regulations for offshore oil and gas exploration will propose long-awaited Arctic-specific drilling regulations “shortly,” its director said.


House Republicans to mark up union election bill

House Republicans plan to move forward with legislation on Wednesday that would stop the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from speeding up union elections.

The House Education and Workforce Committee will mark up two bills, including the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, which would require the NLRB to let 35 days pass, after employees file a petition before they are allowed to vote on forming a union.

Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) has complained that the NLRB's union election rule would create "ambush elections," where employees vote in as little as 10 days.