Supreme Court to hear rulemaking challenge

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case this week that could change the federal rule-making process.

The issue in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association stems from a longstanding Labor Department rule that determines which employees can earn overtime and minimum wage.

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The Labor Department changed its interpretation of the rule to include mortgage loan officers previously thought of as ineligible, but did not issue a notice or accept public comment.

In its lawsuit argued in the lower courts, the American Bankers Association said the Labor Department failed to follow the proper rulemaking procedures under the Administrative Procedures Act.

But the lower courts sided with the Labor Department, finding that agencies are not required to issue a notice and take public comments when revising an interpretation of a rule.

A decision in favor of the Mortgage Bankers Association would clarify the limits of agencies’ rulemaking power.

Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on whether President Obama overreached his authority in issuing an executive order on immigration.

Conservative lawmakers have threatened to sue Obama for delaying deportations for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants.

The president has said the executive order is designed to protect families not felons. Only immigrants who have U.S. citizen children and those who have been in the country for more than five years without a felony conviction qualify for the deferred action. http://1.usa.gov/1rkgX9x

Chamber of Commerce Secretary Thomas Donohue is planning to speak next week about the need for regulatory reform.

At a chamber event on Tuesday morning, Donohue plans to deliver an address on how the nation’s current regulatory climate is impending economic growth and the urgent need to fix the broken regulatory system.

The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet Tuesday to review scientific data and consider changing a longstanding ban on accepting blood donations from gay men.

Earlier this month, the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability voted to allow gay men to donate blood if they have not had sex for more than a year.

The ban has been in place since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. http://1.usa.gov/1r1sHb3

The Environmental Protection Agency will meet with the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the agency’s new ozone standard rules.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards and other rules that affect children’s health.

Health groups have been lobbying for the lower standard of 60 parts per billion. The current standard is 75 parts per billion. http://1.usa.gov/1vlJ3k3

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will meet Wednesday to discuss the Transportation Department’s recent call for a nationwide recall on all defective airbags manufactured by Japanese auto parts company Takata.

Takata has issued a regional recall of its airbags in areas with humid weather, but DOT wants it expanded to include all cars that have Takata airbags across the U.S.

 

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