Reg Watch


• The Small Business Administration has created a proposed rule to classify more transportation and warehousing companies as small businesses. The rule is part of the administration’s larger overhaul of “revenue-based” size definitions to “reflect changes in marketplace conditions.” The proposed rule would make an estimated 1,200 companies eligible for SBA programs. The comment period ends July 12.


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• The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule that would “expand the scope of clinical investigator disqualification.” The proposed rule would make commissioner-identified investigators who have been found unfit to test drugs, devices or new animal drugs ineligible to conduct a clinical investigation on regulated products that are seeking a research or marketing permit. The rule, which creates additional requirements regarding notification and explanation of investigator disqualification to the institutional review board, is open for comment through July 12.


• The Employment and Training Administration is proposing an amendment to a final rule that would make new wage requirements for temporary non-agricultural H2-B workers take effect approximately three months earlier. The change of the effective date from Jan. 1, 2012, to about Oct. 1, 2011, was brought about by a recent court ruling that declared the Labor Department was in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. The proposed rule that strengthens wage requirements for workers is open for comment through July 8.


• The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking comments on how to best align benefits for so-called “dual-eligibles” who are covered under both Medicare and Medicaid. The proposed alignment is an “Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review” goal “to modify, streamline, expand or repeal” ineffective regulations. The centers will be accepting comments on how to “more effectively align benefits and incentives” of these programs in compliance with President Obama’s executive order through July 11.


• The Justice Department has proposed a rule intended to “revise, consolidate and update its seizure and forfeiture regulations, to conform those regulations to the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 ... and to make other changes.” The proposed rule would also consolidate regulations related to “seizure and administrative forfeiture of property” by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI. The proposed rule is open for comment through July 8.


• The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and three other agencies have created a proposed rule that implements minimum capital and margin requirements for specific large swap participants or covered swap entities. The rule, which would enact provisions of the Dodd-Frank reform, aims to “offset the greater risk” that comes from uncleared swaps. The margin requirements would depend upon the risk of the different swaps and swap parties. The comment period for this proposed rule closes July 11.