OVERNIGHT REGULATION: House GOP doubles down on anti-reg agenda

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATIONS, your daily rundown of enforcement news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Thursday night here in Washington and we're winding down from back-to-back days of a marathon Senate confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch. By now there's no confusing Lynch for Eric HolderEric H. HolderSessions defends Lynch's use of an email pseudonym: 'I have a pseudonym' Holder: Sessions is ‘racially insensitive’ and ‘racially unaware’ Let's start giving media manipulation the attention it deserves MORE

Without further adieu: 

 

THE BIG STORY

House Republicans say they will double down on their anti-regulatory push in the month ahead.

In a note to Republicans sent Thursday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) rallied lawmakers around a key piece of legislation that would "unshackle small businesses" from excessive regulation.

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The Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2015, introduced earlier this week, would set up more regulatory road blocks for the Obama administration. http://bit.ly/1HmK2Iy

A top priority to GOP leadership, the bill would require federal agencies to consider both the direct and indirect costs imposed by their regulations on small businesses.

McCarthy said it would "hold the government accountable so that we can unshackle small businesses."

The House has passed this legislation in the previous two sessions of Congress, but both times it was rejected by the Democrat-controlled Senate at the time.

 

ON TAP FOR FRIDAY

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will hold a meeting to discuss the state of civil rights at immigration detention facilities. http://bit.ly/1vaSfKL

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyThe media’s tactics to silence science at Trump’s EPA Overnight Energy: EPA releases ozone findings | Lawmakers come out against Perry grid plan | Kids sue Trump on climate change Congress must come to terms on climate change regulation MORE is expected to meet with senior officials at the Vatican in Italy to discuss steps the United States is taking to act on climate change and the importance of international cooperation.

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 199 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Friday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to watch:

—The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will prohibit the use and distribution of three new strands of synthetic marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. http://bit.ly/1BvrIV3

Marijuana is already regulated with other illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin, but the DEA is targeting new versions of fake pot as they are introduced.

People who smoke, possess, distribute, or manufacture these strands of synthetic marijuana will be prosecuted, the DEA noted.

The attorney general "finds that such action is

necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety," the DEA noted.

The changes go into effect immediately.

—The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will issue new rules for those participating in a program that provides affordable rental housing to low-income families. http://bit.ly/18zRXTj

Through the Housing Trust Fund state governments receive grants to help low-income families find places to live, whether by offering discounted rent or helping them buy homes.

The new rules go into effect in 60 days.

—The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) may issue new rules stemming from the Dodd-Frank financial reform laws. http://bit.ly/1KcSru7

The FDIC will propose changes to the regulatory capital and liquidity coverage ratio rules for financial institutions. 

The public has 60 days to comment.

—The Coast Guard will expand notification regulations to cover more ships. http://bit.ly/1yRyF5m

More ships will be required to electronically notify the Coast Guard of their expected arrival times. 

The Coast Guard says the rules will help it better identify and track ships. 

The rules go into effect in 30 days.

—The Department of Energy (DOE) will delay new energy conservation standards for general service fluorescent lamps. http://bit.ly/15Xu8Tp

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy proposed the efficiency rules in December, but will extend the deadline for the public comment period. 

The public now has until Feb. 23 to comment.

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Cuba: A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation in the Senate Thursday to lift the U.S. travel embargo on Cuba, one month after President Obama announced sweeping changes in his administration's policy toward Havana. http://bit.ly/1yFpd0i

911: Federal regulators are rolling out new rules that will require wireless service companies to automatically locate people in an emergency. http://bit.ly/1LmtFLj

School lunches: The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is lobbying to relax rules for healthy school lunches as Congress prepares to reauthorize first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama on sexual misconduct allegations: I’m ‘sick’ Michelle Obama on dealing with difficult times: 'Don't tweet nasty stuff' House passes bill to curb presidential pensions MORE's prized Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. http://bit.ly/1BvfTOH

Airwaves auction: A weeks-long sell-off of the government's airwaves has brought in a record $44.9 billion, regulators announced Thursday. http://bit.ly/1tzCAmQ

Wellness programs: Federal guidance to help employers administer worker wellness programs that comply with ObamaCare and the Americans with Disabilities Act are coming. http://bit.ly/1DcIKcE

Football memorabilia: Federal authorities confiscated nearly $20 million worth of counterfeit sports memorabilia ahead of the Super Bowl. http://bit.ly/1yaN8pm

License plates: Senior lawmakers are pressing the Justice Department to explain how and why it collects hundreds of millions of records on the real-time movements of cars in the U.S, The Wall Street Journal reported. http://on.wsj.com/1y6g6Xu

Evidence: A federal judge quit a commission that advises the Justice Department on the handling of scientific evidence over proposed rules for how forensic evidence is prepared for trial, The Wall Street Journal reported. http://on.wsj.com/1EScQDL

 

BY THE NUMBERS

19.5M: The number of dollars worth of counterfeit sports memorabilia uncovered by federal investigators.

326,147: The number phony sports memorabilia items confiscated at sporting goods stores around the country.

52: The number of people arrested for participating in schemes to sell counterfeit sports memorabilia.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"Some will say that we ought to receive something in exchange for this, that if we're giving up something, we ought to get some concession from the Cuban government. I think we all need to remember this is a sanction, or prohibition on Americans, not Cubans," said Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSpokesman: Flake’s vote on tax reform will have nothing to do with Trump Trump slams Flake over hot-mic comments: Senator's career is 'toast' Bannon: McConnell 'picking up his game' because of our 'insurgent movement' MORE, (R-Ariz.) introducing the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015.

 

We'll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill's Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and @wheelerlydia.