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OVERNIGHT REGULATION: GOP bill aims to rein in regulators

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of enforcement news from Capitol Hill and beyond. The week’s almost over, but before you head out, don’t miss today’s biggest news and tomorrow’s most compelling story lines from Washington.

 

THE BIG STORY:

Republicans are leaving no stone unturned in their fight to roll back dozens of regulations from the Obama administration.

GOP lawmakers are once again pushing the highly controversial Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would give them the power to block major rules from the Obama administration. http://bit.ly/1CVugxW

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The REINS Act would require federal agencies to submit rules that have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more to Congress for approval, essentially guaranteeing Republicans can block the Obama administration’s most important rules.

The legislation isn't new, but Republicans hope that momentum is growing. The REINS Act passed the House in 2011 and again in 2013, but it was not taken up by the then Democrat-controlled Senate. With a new GOP majority in the upper chamber, Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna Vaccine hesitancy among lawmakers slows return to normalcy on Capitol Hill Senators push to allow for remote voting during national crisis MORE (R-Ky.) is hoping he can rally enough lawmakers around the bill.

The REINS Act is just one of the anti-regulatory instruments the GOP has in its tool belt. 

Republicans, however, may get more traction with the Regulatory Accountability Act or the Congressional Review Act.

The Congressional Review Act, better known as the CRA, allows Republicans to disapprove of regulations after they come out — as opposed to blocking them from coming out at all like the REINS Act would do.

GOP lawmakers plan to use the CRA to attack a number of regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency. http://bit.ly/1DVmLL0

President Obama would likely veto any such legislation, but Republicans say it would force Democrats to go on record supporting what they see as job-killing regulations.

Republicans are also looking at the Regulatory Accountability Act, which compels federal agencies to issue the "least costly" regulations.

The House passed the Regulatory Accountability Act last week, but the Senate has yet to take it up. Meanwhile, President Obama has already threatened to veto the bill if it makes it to his desk. http://bit.ly/1AUWIgN

 

ON TAP FOR FRIDAY:

The Department of Homeland Security and the United States Coast Guard will meet to discuss a proposed rule. The rule will require each owner and operator of a facility regulated by the Coast Guard to implement a system that gives seafarers access between vessels moored at their facility and the facility gate. http://1.usa.gov/1yTIJN3

Vice President Biden is expected to speak at West Los Angeles College tomorrow about the importance of helping Americans go to college and get the skills they need to succeed in the workforce.

The Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy will meet to discuss ways to increase competitive integrated employment options for people with disabilities. The committee will hear research on policy efforts to address the challenges of people with disabilities. http://1.usa.gov/1Jo3Wyv

 

TOMORROW’S REGS TODAY:

The Obama Administration will publish 263 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Friday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here’s what to watch: 

Pet stores: The Department of Agriculture is changing the definition of a retail pet store under the Animal Welfare Act.

Now a person can have a maximum of four, up from three, female breeding dogs, cats or certain other animals and be exempt from having to apply for a license as long as only the offspring of those animals are being sold and the offspring are born and raised on the premises. http://bit.ly/1AUULRq

The rule will take effect Friday.

Off-road vehicles: The Consumer Product Safety Commission is extending the comment period for its proposal to issue new safety standards for recreational off-highway vehicles.

Comments were due Feb. 2, but the commission said it received two requests for more time: one from the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association and the other from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. http://bit.ly/1zAg53l

The public now has 75 days to comment. 

Movantik: The Department of Justice is removing the drug naloxegol and its salts from the list of controlled substances. The drug, approved for marketing in September under the brand name Movantik, is used to treat opioid-induced constipation in patients with chronic non-cancer pain. http://bit.ly/1y4isEX

The rule will take effect on Friday. 

Car seats: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing changes to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for child car seats. 

The rules would require car seat manufactures to make it easier for people to appropriately attach a child car seat and create standardized labels that tell people where and how to hook the seat into place. http://bit.ly/15CIWaX

The public has 60 days to comment. 

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW:

Parental leave: President Obama called on Congress to ensure paid sick leave for all workers during his State of the Union address, but Republicans aren’t buying in to the president’s strategy for working class families. http://bit.ly/1BLbcFB

Cigar trouble: The Food and Drug Administration’s proposed regulations for cigars are threatening to shut down the industry, Town Hall reports. http://bit.ly/1yMQ4Oz

It’s REINing regulations: Republicans are pushing legislation that would help them more easily reject regulations from the Obama administration. http://bit.ly/1CVugxW

Labor dispute: The National Labor Relations Board is the target of a new business-sponsored television commercial pushing back against controversial labor decisions. http://bit.ly/186xgy6

Union elections: Senate Democrats are defending a National Labor Relations Board rule that would speed up union elections. http://bit.ly/1Biv9ki

30-hour workweek: A top Senate Republican says lowering the number of hours full-time employees must work will diminish the nation’s work ethic. http://bit.ly/15CVPl9

Mortgage kickbacks: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is fining Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase $36 million for participating in a so-called "mortgage kickback" scheme. http://bit.ly/15CW1Rm

Collusion: The Department of Justice’s antitrust division collected more than $1.8 billion in fines in 2014 from companies accused of cheating consumers. http://bit.ly/1E7gnjX

Ebola cure: The federal government will begin testing Ebola vaccines in Africa in the next few weeks. http://bit.ly/1xFmtk4

 

BY THE NUMBERS

8,683: Number of people who have died from Ebola

16 million: Number of people who die prematurely – before the age of 70 – each year from noncommunicable diseases like heart and lung disease, cancer and diabetes.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"This is actually part of an orgy of attacks on rulemaking in this nation...The only basis for this bill are the unsupported claims that regulations erode employment and economic growth." — Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), speaking in opposition to the Regulatory Accountability Act, earlier this month http://bit.ly/1uznhf0

 

We’ll work to stay on top of these and other stories, so check The Hill’s Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and @wheelerlydia.