Overnight Regulation: FDA puts new nutrition labels on hold

Overnight Regulation: FDA puts new nutrition labels on hold

Welcome to Overnight Regulations, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill and the courts. It's Tuesday evening here in Washington where Senate Republicans quickly backed away from a proposal to restrict media access in the Capitol after a backlash from reporters. Read about it here

 

THE BIG STORY 

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it is delaying an Obama-era rule to require manufacturers to update nutritional facts labels on processed foods. 

The Food and Drug Administration said it has determined that manufacturers need more time than the July 26, 2018 compliance date to complete and print new labels for their products.

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"The framework for the extension will be guided by the desire to give industry more time and decrease costs, balanced with the importance of minimizing the transition period during which consumers will see both the old and the new versions of the label in the marketplace," the agency said in an update on its website. 

It's still unknown how long the delay will be. FDA said it will publish a notice in the Federal Register at a later date announcing the specifics. 

Here's a lowdown on the label changes required by the now-delayed rule:  

  • A new design that highlights the calorie count  
  • New serving sizes that reflect the amount of food people actually eat
  • "Added sugars" listed in grams as a percent daily value
  • Dual columns that list both "per serving" and "per package" calorie and nutrition information
  • Required listing of the amounts of Vitamin D, potassium, calcium and iron

Read the full story here, including reaction from industry groups and consumer advocates. 

 

ON TAP FOR WEDNESDAY 

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a slate of judicial nominations, including Louisville lawyer John Bush to the 6th Circuit, Alabama Appellate lawyer Kevin Newsom to the 11th Circuit, and California lawyer Damien Michael Schiff to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. 

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation will discuss the hurdles in the testing and development of self-driving cars in the U.S. And keep reading below for more on how lawmakers are tackling driverless cars.

The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions will hold a hearing on legislative proposals to reform the National Labor Relations Act, including a Republican backed bill to roll back the National Labor Relations Board rule that speeds up union elections. 

 

REG ROUNDUP 

Energy: The top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee accused the EPA Tuesday of dragging its feet on requests for information.

As The Hill's Devin Henry reports, Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperIt’s time for Congress to actually fix the individual health insurance market Where Dems stand on Sanders's single-payer bill Trump riles Dems with pick for powerful EPA job MORE (D-Del.) said the EPA needs to reply to oversight requests before he'll support moving forward on any agency nominees. 

Democrats have been raising concerns about the Trump administration's oversight responses amid reports officials have told agencies to only reply to requests from Republican committee chairmen.

EPA, however, said it has responded to 386 of the 416 letters they have received from members of Congress this year.

Carper's accusations came during a hearing on the nomination of Susan Bodine, whom Trump tapped to head the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, and three Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) nominees.

Read the story here

 

Tech: A federal court has partially struck down a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule that capped the rates for inmate phone calls.

As The Hill's Harper Neidig reports, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled  2-1 that the FCC overstepped its authority by trying to set limits on intrastate phone call rates, but said FCC's rule capping interstate rates is permissible.

In 2016, the FCC set the cap for state and federal prison call rates at 13 cents per minute, with higher rates for local jails.

Previously, the agency had only capped interstate call rates, and the 2015 order cut those prices by more than 50 percent.

Read the story here

 

Energy: Eleven state attorneys general are joining a lawsuit green groups brought against the Department of Energy challenging its decision to put Obama-era energy efficiency regulations on hold. 

As The Hill's Timothy Cama reports, the rules cover appliances such as walk-in freezers and air compressors. 

Trump administration officials never completed the administrative steps to let the rules get published in the Federal Register. That lack of action, opponents say, was illegal.

Read the story here

 

Environment: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he still supports the Paris climate agreement. 

As The Hill's Timothy Cama reports, Tillerson told Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinTrump officials brief lawmakers on North Korea Blackwater founder calls for military contractors in Afghanistan Tillerson moves to eliminate special envoy posts at State Dept.: report MORE (Md.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that he respects Trump's decision to pull the United States from the agreement, but disagrees with it.

My view didn't change," Tillerson said at a hearing on the State Department's budget. "My views were heard out. I respect that the president heard my views, but I respect the decision he's taken.

Read the full story here

 

Transportation: A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday outlined their legislation to help boost the rollout of driverless cars, The Hill's Melanie Zanona reports.

The package from Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneAviation panel recommends Trump roll back safety rules Overnight Regulation: House moves to block methane rule | Senators wrestle with allowing driverless trucks | EPA delays toxic waste rule Overnight Tech: Senate looks at self-driving trucks | Facebook to keep ads off fake news | House panel calls Equifax CEO to testify MORE (R-S.D.), chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonDem asks airlines to cap airfares ahead of Hurricane Maria Trump encourages Rick Scott to run for Senate Overnight Regulation: House moves to block methane rule | Senators wrestle with allowing driverless trucks | EPA delays toxic waste rule MORE (D-Fla.), the panel's ranking member, and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) could "become the first ever changes in federal law" governing self-driving cars, Thune said in a statement.

Their bill will aim to prioritize safety, reduce roadblocks, remain tech neutral, strengthen cybersecurity, reinforce separate federal and state roles and better educate the public about the emerging technology, according to lawmakers.

But there is still no timeline for the bill, which comes as driverless car developers press lawmakers to ease regulations they say are geared toward more traditional automobiles. 

 

IN THE NEWS 

DOJ seeks to argue 9th Circuit travel ban decision 

Sanders and Mnuchin clash over Glass-Stegall 

Deputy AG Rosenstein: No good cause to fire Mueller 

Watchdog: Federal agencies made $132B in improper payments

Trump administration grants work permits to thousands of illegal immigrants – The Washington Post 

'How far can they go?' Lawsuit over police search of hundreds of students raises constitutional questions – The New York Times

 

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