Overnight Regulation: Dems punch back in fight over CEO pay rule

Overnight Regulation: Dems punch back in fight over CEO pay rule
© Aida Chavez

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill, the courts and beyond. It's Tuesday evening here in Washington, and President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is the talk of the town after the second day of his confirmation hearing.

Here's the latest.



The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is coming under scrutiny from Democrats, including Sens. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezIn judge's 2010 Senate trial, Menendez was guilty of hypocrisy Excused Menendez juror: 'I don't think he did anything wrong' We don't need a terrorist attack to know diversity program has to go MORE (N.J.) and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWorld leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report Sanders on Brazile revelations: DNC needs ‘far more transparency’ Sen. Warren sold out the DNC MORE (I-Vt.), for delaying a Dodd-Frank rule requiring a company's top executive to reveal how much money they make in comparison to their employees.

The CEO-to-worker pay disclosure rule was a key provision of the Obama administration's efforts to clean up Wall Street.

The SEC passed the rule in August 2015, and it was scheduled to go into effect this year. But acting SEC chairman Michael Piwowar, a Republican, delayed the rule in February, noting companies encountered "unanticipated compliance difficulties."

In a letter to Piwowar sent Tuesday, Sanders and eight other Senate Democrats said they are "extremely troubled" by the recent delay and accused the acting chairman of attempting to "discredit the rule and generate momentum to repeal" it.

They pointed out that CEOs at the nation's largest companies make an average of "$335 dollars for every dollar earned by a typical employee."

"Pay ratio disclosure helps investors evaluate the relative value a CEO creates, which facilitates better checks and balances against insiders paying themselves runaway compensation," the senators wrote.

"Similarly, when a CEO asks for a raise while giving other employees a pay cut, investors should have this information," they added.

Sanders made wages and income inequality a key issue last year during his presidential campaign.

Menendez had pushed for the CEO pay disclosure provision to be included in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Other Senate Democrats signing the letter included Sens. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Raymond ReedAfter Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem McCain pledges 'rigorous oversight' after Air Force failure to report Texas gunman's conviction Dems furious over Air Force failure to report Texas shooter's conviction MORE (R.I.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program Schumer: Dems want DACA fix in government spending bill The Hill interview — DNC chief: I came here to win elections MORE (Mass.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems mull big changes after Brazile bombshell After Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem Bipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program MORE (Ill.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDems mull big changes after Brazile bombshell Dems push clearer GMO labeling Dems cheer Flake after scathing Trump speech MORE (Ore.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenOvernight Tech: Senate panel subpoenaed ex-Yahoo chief | Twitter gives all users 280 characters | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | EU wants tax answers from Apple Week ahead: DHS nominee heads before Senate | Ex-Yahoo chief to testify on hack | Senators dig into election security Feinstein: Sessions should re-testify on Russia meetings MORE (Minn.).

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The Senate Judiciary Committee will reconvene for the third day of hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. 

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on to consider the nomination of Alexander Acosta, President Trump's pick for Labor secretary. 

The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing to discuss results and accountability at the World Bank. 

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing to discuss the FDA's prescription drug user fee program. 



--The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will delay Obama-era tobacco rules to comply with President Trump's regulatory moratorium.

The FDA proposed restricting the amount of N-Nitrosonornicotine used in smokeless tobacco products on the last day of the Obama administration, even though the rule wasn't published in the Federal Register until after Trump became president.

The FDA will extend the comment period to give the public more time to consider the changes. 

The public has until July 10 to comment.

--The Department of Transportation (DOT) will delay consumer protections for airline passengers.

The DOT expanded a requirement for airlines to report baggage handling statistics last November, but will now extend the compliance date.

Airlines will have until January 2019 to comply with the changes in the rule.



Live coverage: Day two of Supreme Court nominee hearing 

Supreme Court limits president's power to temporarily fill agency vacancies 

Gorsuch: 'Of course women can be president' 

Gorsuch refuses Whitehouse's request to ask shadowy backers to reveal themselves 

Schumer: Delay Gorsuch vote because of Russia probe

Gorsuch: Trump never asked me to rule against Roe v. Wade

Dems: Trump 'ignoring' rulemaking procedures

Greens launch ad campaign against EPA cuts

Watchdog piles on criticism of offshore drilling regulator

Trump admin bans large electronics on select flights from Africa, Middle East

UK set to follow US with electronics ban on Middle Eastern flights

Top Dem backs Trump administration's airline electronics ban

Companies join green advocates in push to save efficiency program

GOP chairman: Trump infrastructure package could be rolled into FAA bill

Top Democrat on Senate panel: No rollback on Dodd-Frank because it works – Reuters

After illicit photo scandal, military seeks new ways to punish bad online behavior – PBS News Hour 



7: Proposed rules

16: Final rules

(Wednesday's Federal Register)



"If you want to have more disclosure, pass a law," President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch said in a heated exchange with Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseTech companies grilled over Russian election interference Hitting GOP, Dems pitch raising 401(k) caps Democrats double down on calls for Congress to protect Mueller MORE (D-R.I.). The senator was pressing Gorsuch to call publicly for the conservatives spending millions pushing his confirmation to reveal themselves.  Read more here and click here for full coverage on Day 2 of the Gorsuch hearing.

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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