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OVERNIGHT REGULATION: Franchise industry ready for DC drive-thru

Industry thought leaders and federal policy makers will gather at The Hill's Sept. 16 Aviation Policy Summit, sponsored by Airlines for America, to debate the policies and regulations shaping the future of flight. Featured keynotes: Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and American Airlines CEO Doug Parker. Register here.

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Another Monday is in the books, and with it a full day of regulatory and enforcement news from here in Washington. You’ll find all the most important headlines, analysis – and a preview of tomorrow’s biggest storylines – here in The Hill’s OVERNIGHT REGULATION. Click here to sign up for the newsletter: http://bit.ly/1pc6tau

 

THE BIG STORY

The International Franchise Association (IFA) on Tuesday will look to make its presence felt on Capitol Hill during the first of a two-day fly-in to oppose a recent National Labor Relations Board finding that has left the industry cooked.

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The labor board’s position that McDonald’s USA has joint employer status – along with its individual franchise owners – carries major implications for the entire franchise industry.

The designation could expose the company, and potentially other chains, to claims from workers who say their labor rights have been violated. If it stands, the determination could also force corporate management to the table in collective bargaining situations.

The industry, which covers everything from fast food restaurants and hotel chains to companies like auto-repair company Meineke and tax advisers H&R Block, says the ruling could upend the entire franchise model.

-- Three things you need to know about the fly-in:

1. Capitol Hill strategy: IFA’s opponents in organized labor are pressing for higher wages for fast-food workers with a series of high-profile protests in cities around the country. This week, the industry is focusing its resources on policymakers in Washington

2. Republicans are Receptive: The group’s conference will feature remarks from House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWarren, Brown voice support for controversial Biden budget office pick Principles to unify America Feehery: A possible House Speaker conundrum for Democrats MORE (R-Ohio) and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R). It also comes as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate approves two energy regulators, completing panel On The Money: Biden announces key members of economic team | GOP open to Yellen as Treasury secretary, opposed to budget pick | GAO: Labor Department 'improperly presented' jobless data Senate GOP open to confirming Yellen to be Biden's Treasury secretary MORE (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderMurkowski: Trump should concede White House race Mark Kelly to be sworn in as senator on Wednesday Congress set for chaotic year-end sprint MORE (R-Tenn.) are preparing to unveil legislation meant to push back on the “activist” NLRB.

3. Digging deep: IFA is putting its money where its mouth is, via a beefed up lobbying effort and increased campaign spending in the current election cycle.

 

ON TAP FOR TUESDAY

Congress is back to work during what House members hope is their last week in D.C. before they leave town to turn their focus to November’s midterms. But for that to happen, the chamber must resolve questions over a stopgap government funding bill and whether to authorize President Obama to arm and train Syrian rebels fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Obama, meanwhile, is headed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where he’ll be briefed on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter JohnsonCornell to launch new bipartisan publication led by former Rep. Steve Israel Trump faces tough path to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac overhaul Several hurt when truck runs into minimum wage protesters in Michigan MORE (D-S.D.) will convene a hearing looking at the state of small depository institutions. Regulators from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the National Credit Union Administration will testify. http://j.mp/1D0ZCVw

David J. Friedman deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will testify at an oversight hearing of the Senate Commerce Committeehttp://j.mp/1tXplLP

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 141 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Tuesday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to watch:

--The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will allow people to text — rather than call — 911 for help as part of its plan to develop so-called "Next Generation" emergency services.

Sending text messages to 911 will serve as an alternative to calling for help, if the person is in danger and doesn't want an intruder to hear them talking on the phone.

Text-to-911 will be available starting in June 2015. Between now and then, emergency services personnel and cellphone companies are preparing to make sure the program gets off to a smooth start.

"These rules will provide the public with an additional means through which individuals can reach emergency services," the agency wrote. http://j.mp/1sbGoE6

--The Department of Energy (DOE) may issue new efficiency regulations for the air conditioners and heaters used in hotels around the country.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is considering new standards for packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps, which are often used to control the temperature in hotels and motels. http://j.mp/YMraOO

--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will delay new emissions standards for grain elevators that many farmers use to scoop up the crop and place it in a silo. The EPA announced the rules in July, but will extend the comment period through Nov. 6. http://j.mp/1uBcaig

--The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will delay new training requirements for pilots. 

In July, the FAA proposed new standards for the flight simulation training devices that pilots use to prepare for situations such as full stalls, recovery maneuvers, and takeoff and landing maneuvers in heavy winds, among others.

But the FAA will extend the comment period through Jan. 6, 2015. http://j.mp/1uE8onA

--The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will issue new rules to combat distracted driving. The NHTSA is clarifying existing policy measures for electronic devices such as GPS systems that are built into many newer model vehicles. http://j.mp/X8v8Q6

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL: New York Times investigation faults the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for taking it easy on the automakers it regulates, and particularly General Motors which has suffered a number of controversial recalls this year. http://j.mp/1ph4ADc

DOORS: Meanwhile, the NHTSA is looking into problems with the doors on more than 200,000 Ford Fiestas, because they won't close properly, Reuters reports. http://j.mp/1m9dFTw

WAGE GARNISHMENT: The Environmental Protection Agency would not be allowed to garnish people's wages under a new bill from two Republican senators, The Hill's Tim Cama reports. This follows reports that the EPA was collecting environmental fines by taking the money directly out of people's bank accounts without a court’s approval. http://j.mp/1DbZiDp

FACIAL RECOGNITION: The FBI is rolling out a new facial recognition system it hopes will replace its long-time fingerprint-track system, The Hill's Julian Hattem reports. http://j.mp/Znfx0J

WAGE GAP: Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidFeinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Whitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee Bottom line MORE (D-Nev.) is criticizing Republicans for cultivating an environment that supports wage discrimination and the gender pay gap, The Hill's Ramsey Cox reports. http://j.mp/1qG1PSd

DEPARTURE: The chief financial officer of Bankrate Inc., is resigning amidst a probe of the company's financial records by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Reutersreports. http://j.mp/1q8JVkY

NET NEUTRALITY: With the deadline looming, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has received at least 3 million comments from people about the agency's proposal to regulate Internet traffic, Reuters reports. http://j.mp/1oRkF32

FINED: Morgan Stanley will pay $280,000 to settle claims that it was not properly monitoring suspicious activity from some customers' accounts, Reutersreports. http://j.mp/1sc17HH

 

BY THE NUMBERS

770,000: Number of franchise businesses operating in the United States, according to the IFA.

8 million: Total number of employees at said businesses.

$494 billion: The industry’s total contribution to U.S. gross domestic product, or roughly 3.1 percent.

$745,000: The Amount IFA spent on lobbying the federal government last year.  

$964,551: Total expenditures this election cycle from the group’s political action committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“A woman who performs the same work as a man should be paid the same as a man.  Senate Republicans simply cannot accept that notion. They believe it is fair for men to be paid more than women for doing the exact same thing.” –Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on the wage gap.  

 

We’ll endeavor to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill’s Regulation page early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, via bgoad@thehill.com or tdevaney@thehill.com. And follow us at @ben_goad and @timdevaney.