OVERNIGHT REGULATION: Bloomberg’s big bet on gun control

It’s back to the grind in Washington, where a three-day weekend has given way to another busy workweek. Look no further for all the latest big regulatory and enforcement news, as well as a primer for tomorrow’s biggest storylines. It’s all here on OVERNIGHT REGULATION. Click here to sign up for the newsletter.

 

THE BIG STORY:

OPEN SEASON: Billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is pulling the trigger on a huge effort to mobilize voters who support more stringent gun control regulations.

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Everytown for Gun Safety, a group bankrolled by Bloomberg, is pressing lawmakers to detail their positions on gun control issues in advance of this year’s midterms.

The effort is intended to counter the NRA’s political power this fall, but the effort could put some Senate Dems in a tough spot and could backfire if Republicans seize control of the upper chamber — all but killing any hopes for movement on gun control legislation anytime soon.

What they’re saying:

“For too long, candidates running for office have only heard from the gun lobby,” –Everytown for Gun Safety president John Feinblatt.

“We will spend whatever our members send us. We know what we’re up against.” - NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.

“[Senate Democrats] have got a terrible map. And the last thing Pryor, Landrieu, Hagan, Begich and for that matter Udall and Braley need is for gun control to become more visible as an issue. – Political analyst Larry Sabato  http://j.mp/1rGX62z

 

First on The Hill’s regs page:

CEO PAY: The Securities and Exchange Commission had its largest meeting with unions and public interest groups about a proposed rule to disclose CEO-to-worker pay ratios since coming out with the proposal last fall.

Here’s the lowdown on who was in attendance at the July 1 meeting, according to recently released documents: http://www.sec.gov/comments/s7-07-13/s70713-981.pdf

From the SEC: Keith Higgins, the director of the agency’s division of corporation finance, along with Felicia Kung, Jennifer Riegel and John Fieldsend, who also work in that department. In addition, Timothy Fox from the SEC’s division of trading and markets and Daniel Kahl of the division of investment management, were also there.

Outside groups: Vineeta Anand of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO); Jennifer O’Dell of Laborers’ International; Bart Naylor and Lisa Gilbert of the non-profit consumer interest group Public Citizen; Alya Kayal of the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment; Marcus Stanley of Americans for Financial Reform; John Keenan of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); Jeff Mahoney of the Council of Institutional Investors; Louis Malizia of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; and Rosanna Weaver of As You Sow, a non-profit organization that “promotes corporate accountability.”

THE AGENDA: In addition to talking about executive pay ratios – which compares the earnings of CEOs with the median pay of a company’s workers – they spoke about at least four other provisions within the Dodd-Frank financial reform law – including a proposal to curb incentive-based pay for bankers that may encourage risky financial behavior.

THE DETAILS: Groups often meet with federal regulators to discuss the finer arguments about rules and give agency officials an opportunity to ask questions. However, regulators are not allowed to divulge any information about what changes, if any, might be made to a rule or where the agency stands in the rulemaking process.

Since officially publishing the proposed executive pay ratio rule in September 2013, officials at the SEC have had meetings with the American Benefits Council, the Center on Executive Compensation, PNG Financial Services Groups and the Corporate Directors Forum. That makes the July 1 meeting the largest showing of public advocates so far.

Check out the full story here: http://j.mp/1rJkP2f

 

ON TAP FOR TUESDAY

Lawmakers are making their way back to Capitol Hill, where the House will grapple this week with fiscal 2015 appropriations bills and the Senate this week will take up a bill to expand opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting on federal lands. http://j.mp/1qDlSyV

-The Senate Banking Committee will convene a hearing entitled, “The Role of Regulation in Shaping Equity Market Structure and Electronic Trading.” http://j.mp/1r49nvB

-Campaign finance issues will be put under the microscope during a discussion hosted by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) looking at the role of “dark money” in politics. http://j.mp/1mt0YR5

- Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) headlines a CATO Institute discussion on digital privacy in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to deny police the right to search cell phones of the people they arrest.http://j.mp/1oCrBTO

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY:

Tuesday’s edition of the Federal Register includes 198 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions, as the federal apparatus groans back to life after the July Fourth national holiday.

Highlights include:

Minimum wage: The Labor Department is giving business groups more time to weigh in on draft regulations establishing a $10.10 minimum hourly wage for employees of companies who do business with the government.

President Obama ordered up the rule via executive order in February, after Republicans beat back an effort in Congress to raise the minimum wage for all employees.

The Labor Department issued a rulemaking notice on June 17, and the original comment period was set to expire one month later.

“The Department has received requests to extend the period for filing public comments from government and business organizations,” the agency said in explaining the extension. “Because of the interest that has been expressed in this matter, the Department has decided to provide an extension of the period for submitting public comment until July 28, 2014.” http://j.mp/1snML9c

Mine safety: The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is weighing requests from a pair of West Virginia coal mine operators who want to change they way they meet mandatory safety standards. Requests from the McElroy Coal Company and the Consolidation Coal Company lodged separate applications with MSHA under a provision of the 1977 Federal Mine Safety and Health Act allowing companies to petition to modify the application of the standards, as long as they present alternatives that accomplish the law’s aims. http://j.mp/VzT9zn

Medical Devices: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is adding a “special controls” classification for transcranial magnetic stimulators designed to treat headaches. Currently, the devices are listed as Class III devices, meaning they require premarket approval. Seeking to lift that restriction, the firm eNeura Therapeutics LLC filed a request in 2013 seeking a “Class II” designation for its product.  The FDA is agreeing to the change, though the agency will require various stipulations, including mandatory analyses, clinical and nonclinical testing before the products are brought to market. http://j.mp/1rI2Vg3

Credit ratings: Treasury is issuing final regulations amending the 1986 Government Securities Act to purge from it  “any reference to or requirement of reliance on credit ratings.” Agencies are required under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law to stop incorporating credit ratings into their rules. http://j.mp/1vSwNnS

 

BY THE NUMBERS:

86: The number of Americans killed every day, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.

92: Percentage of Americans who support strengthened gun control regulations, including background checks for all commercial gun purchases, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

$50 million: Total that Michael Bloomberg has pledged to further gun control efforts in the current election cycle.

$20 million: Roughly, the total that the NRA spent in the 2012 cycle.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Never before has our side of the gun debate organized voters on the ground. This election cycle will give American voters a chance to show that we will demand gun sense from our political leaders.” –Mitch Stewart, a former Obama campaign operative now acting as senior advisor to Everytown for Gun Safety. 

 

We’ll endeavor to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill’s Regulation page early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, via bgoad@thehill.com or tdevaney@thehill.com. And follow us at @ben_goad and @timdevaney.