Overnight Regulation: Supreme Court temporarily lifts restrictions on travel ban | WH to consider new rules after Equifax breach | Google appeals record EU fine

Overnight Regulation: Supreme Court temporarily lifts restrictions on travel ban | WH to consider new rules after Equifax breach | Google appeals record EU fine
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Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill, the courts and beyond. It's Monday evening, and the House is out due to Hurricane Irma, but will be back tomorrow. The Senate came back into session this afternoon.

After President Trump struck an unexpected deal with Democrats pushing off spending and debt deadlines last week, Congress is looking ahead to other issues, such as health care, tax reform, and possibly even some immigration.

 

THE BIG STORY

The Supreme Court granted the Trump administration's request Monday to temporarily lift restrictions on the president's travel ban.

In a one-page order signed by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court temporarily blocked the part of last week's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that barred the government from prohibiting refugees that have formal assurances from resettlement agencies or are in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program from entering the U.S.

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Kennedy said that part of the decision is stayed pending the receipt of a response from the state of Hawaii, which is due by noon on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

Earlier in the day, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to stay that part of the ruling.

In its opinion, the 9th Circuit had also blocked the administration from barring grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended family members of a person in the U.S. from entering the country.

The administration did not challenge the "close-family aspect of the district court's modified injunction."

President Trump's ban bars travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases that are challenging the ban in October.

Lydia Wheeler has the details here.

 

ON TAP FOR TUESDAY

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is holding an event on renegotiating NAFTA.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing on North Korean sanctions.

Two House Financial Services subcommittees will hold a hearing titled "Examining the Relationship Between Prudential Regulation and Monetary Policy at the Federal Reserve."

The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on "issues impacting cost and coverage" in health care.

The Senate Banking Committee meets to discuss financial technology.

Airlines for America hosts the Commercial Aviation Industry Summit.

A House Judiciary Committee subpanel will hold a hearing on occupational licenses and regulation. Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen is expected to testify.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) will speak on immigration at the Atlantic Council.

  

REG ROUNDUP

Cyber: The White House will explore the possibility of more regulations to protect Americans' personal data in the wake of the massive Equifax breach, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Monday.

Sanders said that the White House would look into "the best ways to make sure that Americans are protected" from breaches, days after the credit reporting firm acknowledged that as many as 143 million U.S. consumers had their personal data exposed to hackers.

Sanders was responding to a reporter's question about whether the breach warrants new regulations on the handling of Americans' personal data at the White House briefing Monday afternoon.

"I think this is something we have to look into extensively," Sanders replied. "Certainly, something we have to explore – the best ways to make sure that Americans are protected in that sense."

The incident has generated intense scrutiny of Equifax after the company revealed that a U.S. website application vulnerability had afforded hackers access to Social Security numbers, credit card information, and other personal data on as many as 143 million Americans for more than a month.

The Hill's Morgan Chalfant has more here.

Tech: Google is appealing a record $2.9 billion fine from the European Union over its comparative shopping service, the EU Court of Justice announced Monday morning.

The EU's enforcement wing, the European Commission, issued the massive penalty in June, accusing Google of boosting its own comparative shopping tool in its search results at the expense of other services.

"What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules," said EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager at the time. "It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation."

When the commission first issued the fine, Google's general counsel, Kent Walker, said that the company disagreed with the decision and hinted at the possibility of an appeal.

"When you use Google to search for products, we try to give you what you're looking for," Walker wrote in a blog post at the time. "Our ability to do that well isn't favoring ourselves, or any particular site or seller--it's the result of hard work and constant innovation, based on user feedback."

The commission also ordered Google to change its search practices by the end of September to give rival services equal consideration. Google submitted a plan to comply with the order last month and is not challenging it in court.

Read more from Harper Neidig here.

More tech: Spanish regulators on Monday slapped Facebook with a $1.4 million fine over how it collects personal information on its users.

The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) said that it found three cases of Facebook collecting information on ideology, sex, religious beliefs, personal tastes and browser history without properly notifying users what the data was being obtained for.

The Spanish watchdog also said that Facebook did not properly inform users that it collects cookies on non-Facebook websites that contain a "Like" button.

According to the AEPD, Belgium, France, Hamburg and the Netherlands conducted similar investigations into Facebook's data-collection practices as well.

Facebook says that it rejects the agency's decision and will appeal the penalty.

The Hill's Ali Breland has more.

Finance: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says food assistance will be made available to Texans recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueAndrew Wheeler must reverse damage to American heartland US puts business ahead of children’s health Western states brace for most severe wildfire outbreak since 2012 MORE said Monday that households that normally would not be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may qualify for the agency's Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) if they meet the program's income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.

"USDA is committed to helping hurricane-stricken Texans get back on their feet," Perdue said in a statement. "Because the need for help doesn't end when the rain stops. In so many ways, it's just begun."

The USDA said D-SNAP-eligible households in affected areas will receive two months of benefits equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household of their size.

Read more from Lydia Wheeler here.

Environment: Pope Francis warned that "history will judge" a failure to act on climate change and urged deniers to talk to scientists who study the issue.

"These aren't opinions pulled out of thin air. They are very clear," Francis told reporters after a trip to Colombia, the Associated Press reports. "Then [leaders] decide and history will judge those decisions."

Francis added that "those who deny this must go to the scientists and ask them. They speak very clearly."

Francis has made action on the environment a key goal of his papacy. In 2015, he published a papal encyclical blaming climate change on human activity and sharply criticizing world leaders for not moving quickly enough to address the problem.

Read more from The Hill's Devin Henry here.

Defense: A pair of senators wants to use a mammoth defense policy bill to delay President Trump's controversial decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia Trump: ‘Dems have a death wish’ 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-N.Y.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Russia furor grips Washington Overnight Health Care: Novartis pulls back on drug price hikes | House Dems launch Medicare for All caucus | Trump officials pushing ahead on Medicaid work requirements Senate panel to vote next week on banning 'gag clauses' in pharmacy contracts MORE (R-Maine) have filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would delay any action until 60 days after Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisPentagon put in bind after Trump-Putin summit The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump eyes second Putin summit The Hill's Morning Report — Russia furor grips Washington MORE finalizes his review on the decision and submits a report to Congress.

The amendment, if it ends up in the final version of the bill, could delay Trump's ban until the spring of 2018.

The Hill's Jordain Carney has more here.

Transportation: President Trump is set to nominate Paul Trombino III to lead the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the White House announced Friday.

Trump's nominee is currently the head of a civil engineering company that specializes in transportation, aviation, water and structure projects.

Trombino previously served as the director of Iowa's Department of Transportation from 2011 to 2016. He also served as president of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials during his tenure as the head of Iowa's transportation department.

Brandye Hendrickson, who was appointed to be the FHWA's deputy administrator in July, currently serves as the department's acting administrator.

Trombino's nomination to lead the highway agency comes as the Trump administration is expected to release a more detailed legislative proposal for Trump's infrastructure package.

The Hill's Julia Manchester has more here.  

Energy: William Wehrum, an energy industry attorney and former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official, has been tapped to fulfill one of the agency's most consequential roles.

President Trump formally nominated Wehrum Thursday to be the EPA's assistant administrator for air and radiation, where he would oversee a massive portfolio concerned with air pollution, climate change, auto regulation and more.

If confirmed by the Senate, Wehrum would become one of the most powerful people at the 15,000-person agency behind Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Court rejects new effort to stop kids' climate lawsuit | Baltimore is latest city to sue over climate change | EPA staffers worried about toxic chemical in Pruitt's desk Pruitt staffers worried about toxic chemical in his desk Andrew Wheeler must reverse damage to American heartland MORE.

He would be responsible for the bulk of a massive deregulatory push by the Trump administration that involves rolling back or potentially revising rules on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector, ozone pollution and mercury, among other rules. Most of the regulations were written by the Obama administration.

Wehrum would also have a wide-ranging portfolio of responsibilities under the Clean Air Act, like the requirement to reevaluate major regulations on air quality every five years.

But his nomination was quickly denounced by environmentalists and Democrats, who predict he would use his power at the EPA to grant the wishes of industry and polluters while weakening regulations and enforcement.

The Hill's Timothy Cama has more.

 

ALSO IN THE NEWS

The New York Times: Equifax hack exposes regulatory gaps, leaving consumers vulnerable

Forbes: Crypto markets suffer weakness as regulatory uncertainty worsens

The Week: How Trump launched the biggest regulatory rollback in American history

 

Send tips, story ideas and compliments to nelis@thehill.com and follow me on Twitter @NivElis.

 

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