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OVERNIGHT REGULATION: Reg relief bill faces uncertain path

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of rules from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Thursday evening here in Washington and we're lagging after a late night at the Washington Press Club Foundation's annual Congressional Dinner. Rep. Aaron Schock's (R-Ill.) "Downton Abbey"-esque office decor and Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWho is the Senate parliamentarian and why is she important? Trumpists' assaults on Republicans who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid will help Democrats The Jan. 6 case for ending the Senate filibuster MORE's recent exercise accident were comedic fodder for keynote speakers Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 MORE (R-Colo.) and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.). But before we call it quits, here's the biggest news and the latest headlines from Congress and the federal agencies.

 

THE BIG STORY

Regulatory reform legislation, which passed the House on Thursday despite Democratic opposition, could fall flat on Capitol Hill if senators fail to take it up.

The Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act does not yet have a Senate companion. Although Sens. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntPadilla has 'big Chuck Taylors to fill' in replacing Harris Partisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy MORE (R-Mo.) and Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsPat Roberts joins lobbying firm weeks after Senate retirement Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes Window quickly closing for big coronavirus deal MORE (R-Kan.) have pushed for regulatory reform in the past, it was not clear Thursday if either were planning to introduce the legislation in the Senate.

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The House bill, which was introduced by Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and approved by a 260-163 vote, would force federal agencies to assess the indirect, in addition to the direct, costs of rules. 

While supporters say small businesses need relief from the negative impact of burdensome rules, opponents say the bill is a small business bill in name only. 

"Smart regulations create the conditions for everyone to prosper and they set the stage for strong consumer demand to support a growing economy," said Bryan McGannon, policy director for the American Sustainable Business Council.

"Blocking, weakening or delaying critical standards and safeguards won't help small and medium-sized businesses succeed. Instead, it will worsen the uneven economic playing field that leaves many of those businesses at a competitive disadvantage."

 

ON TAP FOR FRIDAY

The Environmental Protection Agency will hold a meeting to discuss the revisions to the drinking water lead and copper rules. http://1.usa.gov/16veW0r

The Health and Human Services Department's Drug Testing Advisory Board will meet in closed session to discuss proposed revisions to the mandatory guidelines for federal workplace drug testing programs and best practices for confidential hair testing.

The Energy Department will hold a meeting to discuss energy conservation standards for various consumer products and certain commercial and industrial equipment including several classes of commercial heating, air-conditioning and water-heating equipment. http://1.usa.gov/1yNtsIv

The Energy Department will also meet to discuss the proposed amended energy conservation standards for single package air conditioners and single package vertical heat pumps.http://1.usa.gov/1LRmWJI

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 191 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Friday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to watch:

--The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will considering revising its voluntary poultry standards for farmers.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is proposing changes to the National Poultry Improvement Plan.

The standards aim to prevent poultry diseases that can infect the nation's food supply. While participation in the program is voluntary, flocks, hatcheries, dealers and slaughter plants that want to be involved in the program must meet these standards.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1Kw4vH5

--The USDA will also delay new regulations for importing fruits and vegetables.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service proposed last September to expand performance standards for companies importing fruits and vegetables and then transporting them around the country. But the agency will reopen the comment period to give the public more time to consider the changes.

The public now has until March 10 to comment. http://bit.ly/1C3NgL3

--The Coast Guard will delay new safety requirements for mobile offshore drilling units.

The Coast Guard proposed minimum design, operation, training and manning standards for offshore drilling stations last November, but will extend the comment period to give the public more time to consider the changes.

The public now has until May 27 to comment. http://bit.ly/1vv1zcy

--The Securities and Exchange Commission will correct mistakes in an asset-backed securities rule published last September.

The regulations revise the offering process, disclosure and reporting rules, according to the SEC.

The corrections will go into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1FbCQKh

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Gun control: Democrats are pushing new ammunition restrictions that would ban magazines with more than 10 rounds. http://bit.ly/1Ic2Ev2

Regulatory relief: The House passed an anti-regulations bill Thursday that would require federal agencies to measure the costs of their rules on small businesses. http://bit.ly/1zU7NUL

FDA: The nation's top food and drug regulator, Margaret Hamburg, is stepping down after nearly six years. http://bit.ly/1yOkuL6

Labor: Republicans say a controversial union standard would "destroy" small businesses. http://bit.ly/1Kk7OTi

Transit: The Department of Transportation will inspect the Metrorail subway system in the nation's capital after the recent deadly smoke incident. http://bit.ly/16IUKsG

Sue-and-settle: Republicans are pushing a bill that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from developing regulations behind closed doors with special interest groups. http://bit.ly/1DjGyCC

Herbicides: Agriculture giant Monsanto's signature herbicide has nearly eradicated the monarch butterfly, according to a Center for Food Safety study. http://bit.ly/18SBY2D

 

BY THE NUMBERS

90 percent: How much the monarch butterfly population has declined in less than 20 years.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"She has to be a person who brings both sides together, police and the community," -- Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, about Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch.

 

We'll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, 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.