OVERNIGHT REGULATION: Pentagon moves to protect LGBT troops

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Tuesday evening and it's about to get hot in Washington. Forecasters are expecting our first heat wave of the season to hit this week. Stay cool, friends. Here's the latest.

 

THE BIG STORY

Democratic lawmakers are hailing the Department of Defense (DOD) for updating its military policies to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual service members from discrimination and harassment.

At DOD's Pride Month Ceremony Tuesday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said sexual orientation has been added to the military's equal opportunity policy to ensure that the military, like the rest of the federal government, covers sexual orientation alongside race, religion, color, sex, age and national origin in its anti-discrimination efforts.

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"Recognizing that our openness to diversity is one of the things that have allowed us to be the best in the world, we must ensure that everyone who's able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so," Carter said at the ceremony.

"And we must start from a position of inclusivity, not exclusivity. Anything less is not just plain wrong; it's bad defense policy and puts our future strength at risk."

Last month, senators sent a letter to Carter urging him to bring policy in line with the Pentagon's 2014 Human Goals Charter. The charter says the Pentagon will "strive to make military service in the Department of Defense a model of equal opportunity for all regardless of race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin."

In that letter, lawmakers criticized the agency for failing to protect people in the LGBT community following the 2011 repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" -- the Clinton-era law that had prohibited gay and lesbian people from serving opening in the military.

Sens. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDem senator ties Kavanaugh confirmation vote to Trump-Putin controversy Full interview: Chris Murphy speaks out on the Trump-Putin meeting and what it means Dem senator: NATO has become 'functionally obsolete' under Trump MORE (D-Conn.) and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinHistory argues for Democratic Senate gains Controversial Trump judicial nominee withdraws Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas MORE (D-Wis.) hailed Carter's announcement Tuesday.

"We applaud Secretary Carter's decision to finally apply formal equal opportunity protections for gay, lesbian and bisexual service members seeking to serve their country," Murphy and Baldwin said in a joint statement. "It was simply the right thing to do. The repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' represented a tremendous step forward toward full equality, but the fight for full, open service for all who want to serve is not over."

Carter said Tuesday that diversity and inclusion are critical for building the military force of the future.

"Young Americans today are more diverse, open, and tolerant than past generations, and if we're going to attract the best and brightest among them to contribute to our mission of national defense, we have to ourselves be more open, diverse, and tolerant, too," he said. "It's the only way to compete in the 21st century."

 

ON TAP FOR WEDNESDAY

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet to examine the Federal regulatory system and improve accountability, transparency and integrity. http://1.usa.gov/1JHJb41

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing to discuss improving the quality and value of healthcare for patients. http://1.usa.gov/1KcpNg9

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing to discuss passenger rail safety, specifically accident prevention and on-going efforts to implement train control technology. http://1.usa.gov/1HnrxCv

The House Education and the Workforce Committee's Workforce Protections Subcommittee will hold a hearing to review the rules and regulations for implementing federal wage and hour standards. http://1.usa.gov/1S2cXn1

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 159 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Wednesday's edition of the Federal Register. 

Here's what to watch for: 

--The Department of Energy (DOE) will propose new energy conservation standards for traditional cooking ovens.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy estimates the new rules for residential conventional ovens will save consumers as much as $11 billion over 30 years, but would initially cost manufacturers more than $86 million to comply with.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1GaYVKp

--The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will propose new rules for the inspection of eggs.

The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is looking to streamline the inspection process by requiring that applications be submitted electronically.

Inspectors look for eggs with dirty or cracked shells, eggs that are leaking, and eggs with meat or blood spots inside the shell, the agency notes.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1MlLoRV

--The Department of State will propose new rules for international adoption agencies.

The State Department is looking to streamline the accreditation process for international adoption agencies by offering one-year extensions for certain agencies.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1KZKFsg

--The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will propose new rules for the national deaf-blind equipment distribution program.

The program distributes communication devices to deaf and blind people with low incomes.

The public has 45 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1ICKxhM

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Gun trafficking: Police departments would be required to provide federal authorities with information about guns recovered at crime scenes under new legislation aimed at cracking down on gun trafficking. http://bit.ly/1B0Gae0

Military: The Department of Defense is moving forward with new protections for troops who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). http://bit.ly/1Knqi77

Law enforcement: The head of the U.S. Marshals Service is resigning amid turmoil at the law enforcement agency. http://bit.ly/1KTEQcD

Environment: Republicans are looking to block controversial rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that would limit greenhouse gas emissions and expand its jurisdiction over water through provisions in a funding bill for the agency. http://bit.ly/1GpAnP6

Climate rule: A federal appeals court sided with the Obama administration Tuesday, protecting a landmark climate rule for power plants. http://bit.ly/1B3CBDs

Ethanol mandate: The Environmental Protection Agency will propose a new ethanol standard that requires a higher blend with gasoline. http://bit.ly/1MFLu7K

Diversity: Financial regulators are moving forward with new diversity standards for recruiting, hiring, retention, and promotion of employees. http://bit.ly/1KTDNta

Student loans: Students who attended the now defunct Corinthian College are asking a court to freeze all efforts to collect their loan debt. http://bit.ly/1T9Jh90

 

BY THE NUMBERS

93 percent: Percentage of moms surveyed that want Quaker to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients.

70 percent: Percentage of moms who said they were less likely to purchase products from Quaker and its parent company PepsiCo when told the company funneled millions of dollars into campaigns to limit GMO labeling.

(Source: Just Label It, a group pushing Quaker for GMO labeling.) 

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Recognizing that our openness to diversity is one of the things that have allowed us to be the best in the world, we must ensure that everyone who's able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so," -- Defense Secretary Ashton Carter talking about the Pentagon's new LGBT policy.

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.

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