Overnight Regulation: Trump issues order to ease ObamaCare rules | NRA opposes bill banning bump stocks | Dems propose writing campus sex assault guidance into law

Overnight Regulation: Trump issues order to ease ObamaCare rules | NRA opposes bill banning bump stocks | Dems propose writing campus sex assault guidance into law
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Welcome to Overnight Regulations, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill and the courts. It’s Thursday evening here in Washington where the Federal Emergency Management Agency has promised to stay in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico despite President Trump’s threats to pull agency help from the island.

Find that story here.

 

THE BIG STORY 

President Trump issued an executive order Thursday directing federal agencies to issue new regulations to expand consumer access to cheaper health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. 

As Peter Sullivan reports, Trump’s order seeks to expand the ability of small businesses and other groups to band together to buy health insurance through what are known as association health plans (AHPs). It also lifts limits on short-term health insurance plans.

Experts warn the order could undermine the stability of ObamaCare markets by opening up skimpier, cheaper plans that would divert healthy people away from ObamaCare plans.

Democrats, meanwhile, claim it’s part of Trump’s larger plan to “sabotage” the health-care law and accomplish on his own what Congress could not.

The order signals Trump is trying to take action on his own following repeated failures in Congress to repeal ObamaCare. 

The effects of the order remain unclear. New agency rules are subject to public notice and comment requirements and could take months to complete.

Read the full story here

 

The administration is also hinting that it will continue to enforce the law's mandate requiring Americans to have health insurance.

An administration document obtained by The Hill that accompanies an executive order signed by President Trump Thursday states that "only Congress can change the law" when it comes to the mandate.

Peter Sullivan has more here.

 

REG ROUNDUP 

Guns: The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Thursday said it opposes legislation in both the House and the Senate that would ban the use of bump stocks, a device that can be used to increase a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire and was found in the hotel room of the Las Vegas shooter.

“The NRA opposes the Feinstein and Curbelo legislation,” Jennifer Baker, the director of public affairs for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, told The Hill, referencing legislation in both chambers.

Real Mallory Shelbourne’s story here

 

Education: Democrats are working to stop Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosToday’s education system is perfectly designed for no one DeVos blames Trump transition team for shaky confirmation hearings Top Lobbyists 2017: Grass roots MORE from rescinding Obama-era guidance on how colleges should handle sexual assaults on campus.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) introduced legislation on Thursday along with Democratic Reps. Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelOvernight Regulation: Trump issues order to ease ObamaCare rules | NRA opposes bill banning bump stocks | Dems propose writing campus sex assault guidance into law Dems unveil bill to write campus sexual assault guidance into law Fla. lawmaker warned officials before retirement home tragedy MORE (Fla.), Bobby ScottBobby ScottOvernight Regulation: House passes bill to overturn joint-employer rule | Trump officials to allow work requirements for Medicaid | Lawmakers 'alarmed' by EPA's science board changes House passes bill to overturn controversial joint-employer ruling Bipartisan duo offer criminal justice reform legislation MORE (Va.) and Ann McLane Kuster (N.H.) to codify into law guidance on sexual violence DeVos withdrew last month while the agency takes its first steps to write new guidance.

The 2011 guidance and 2014 question-and-answer document DeVos rescinded, which would be written into law under Speier’s bill, direct schools to use "preponderance of evidence" — or the “is-it-more-likely-than-not" standard — when determining whether sexual harassment or violence occurred.

Read the full story here

 

Energy: Lawmakers used a Thursday hearing with Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryPerry’s grid plan will keep on the lights — and the Wi-Fi Eric Trump’s brother-in-law promoted at Department of Energy Official National Park account: There's 'overwhelming consensus' on climate change MORE to criticize his recent proposal to prop up coal and nuclear plants with higher payments for their electricity.

Numerous Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy subpanel, and one Republican, said the plan would be unnecessarily disruptive to the energy market and prop up power plants that aren't competitive.

Timothy Cama has the story here

 

Legal battles: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on behalf of nine Delta Air Lines passengers who were forced to provide identification before getting off a a domestic flight from San Francisco to New York.

The lawsuit the ACLU and Covington & Burling LLP filed Thursday claims the passengers of Flight 1583, which arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Feb. 22, were prevented from leaving the plane until they produced identification.

The officers allegedly did not ask for the passengers’ consent. 

The ACLU argues that the officers, acting at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, violated the passenger’s rights against unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment.

Read the full story here

 

Tech: Google’s autonomous vehicle sibling company Waymo wanted Uber to pay $1 billion in damages and issue a public apology to settle a legal dispute with the ride-hailing firm, according to a new report.

Sources told Reuters that Waymo also requested that an independent monitor be assigned to make sure that Uber does not use Waymo technology moving forward as a part of the settlement.

Uber reportedly rejected the terms.

The companies have been ebroiled in a legal battle over trade secrets.

Ali Breland has the story here

 

Cybersecurity: The government's top watchdog agreed to investigate the reported cyberattack that targeted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year while the agency was preparing to roll back net neutrality regulations.

A spokesman for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirmed it has accepted a request from two Democratic lawmakers to probe the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that the FCC said disrupted its electronic comment filing system in May.

The spokesman said that the probe, which was first reported by Politico, is “now in the queue, but the work won’t get underway for several months.” 

Morgan Chalfant has the story here

 

Transportation: Paris wants to get gasoline-powered cars off the city’s roads by 2030, the latest bet by officials that electric vehicles are the cars of the future.

"We have planned the end of thermic vehicle use, and therefore of fossil energies, by 2030,” Paris deputy mayor in charge of transport Christophe Nadjovski said Thursday on France Info radio, according to The Associated Press

Paris City Hall issued a statement Thursday emphasizing that officials plan to keep discussing the idea with residents and carmakers in the coming months, but called the tentative 2030 deadline “a feasible and realistic” goal, according to the AP.

Melanie Zanona has the story here

 

IN OTHER NEWS 

House Democrats push for tougher oversight of regulators’ conflicts of interest – ProPublica 

Court costs entrap nonwhite, poor juvenile offenders – The New York Times 

Emergency alerts get scrutiny after deadly wildfires – AP 

Tennessee has insurance rules like the ones Trump proposed. It’s not going well – Vox 

 

Send tips and story ideas to your Overnight host at lwheeler@thehill.com and follow her on Twitter @wheelerlydia.