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OVERNIGHT REGULATION: GOP turns up heat on labor board

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of rules from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Tuesday evening here in Washington. Without further adieu, here are the biggest headlines from Congress and the federal agencies.

 

THE BIG STORY

The GOP's trial of the Obama administration's labor policies is heating up.

Senate Republicans are scrutinizing some of the National Labor Relations Board's most controversial decisions with a series of high-profile hearings this month.

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The NLRB's controversial rule speeding up union elections will be the focus of a Senate Health, Education, Labor, Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing Wednesday.

The so-called "ambush" election rule, as Republicans call it, took center stage earlier this week when top Republicans employed the seldom-used Congressional Review Act in an effort to overturn the regulation.

This follows last week's Senate hearing on the NLRB's joint employer standard holding restaurants like McDonald's responsible for labor violations committed by their franchises.

Republicans say they are determined to roll back these and other controversial labor policies by any means necessary.

Here's what they're saying:

"We're going to do everything we can to stop the ambush election rule." -- Senate HELP Chairman Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderAuthorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (Tenn.).

"Republicans are making it clear that they're more interested in putting the profits of the biggest corporations ahead of the rights and opportunities of middle class workers." -- Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayPublic option fades with little outcry from progressives Senate GOP blocks bill to combat gender pay gap OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump |  Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps MORE (Wash.), the top Democrat on the HELP Committee.

 

ON TAP FOR WEDNESDAY

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the EPA's proposed carbon dioxide emissions rules for new, modified and existing power plants. http://1.usa.gov/1ztk63J

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing to discuss consumer protections as more devices become connected to the Internet. http://1.usa.gov/15EJKLj

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a committee meeting to mark up a number of bills including legislation that would require the IRS to notify organizations before revoking an exempt status, remove alcohol bonding requirements for certain taxpayers and provide special rules for charitable organizations. http://1.usa.gov/16KXB3F

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to discuss reforming federal asset forfeiture policies. http://1.usa.gov/1CeKPWa

The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing to discuss how to protect small businesses from Internal Revenue Service abuse. http://1.usa.gov/196rhJY

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will have a committee meeting to mark up the "Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act," which would streamline the review and approval process so drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration can be used in clinical trials. http://1.usa.gov/1DfIE6i

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 198 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Wednesday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to watch:

--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will consider easing the rules for more small creditors that provide mortgages in rural and underserved areas.

The proposed mortgage rules from the Dodd-Frank financial reform laws would expand the agency's definition of a small creditor, providing an incentive for more financial institutions to operate in rural markets. 

The public has until March 30 to comment. http://bit.ly/1DfJ8Jz

--The Department of Energy (DOE) will consider new energy conservation standards for manufactured and mobile homes.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable Energy is requesting more information about solar heat and the efficiency of windows in these homes.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/16Q9TrC

--The DOE is also delaying new energy conservation standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy said late last year it was looking at the potential economic impact and energy savings from new efficiency standards for refrigerators, but will reopen the public comment period. 

The public has until March 2 to comment. http://bit.ly/1KFzlig

--The federal government will loosen the importation rules for goods from U.S. territories. 

The Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, and Department of the Treasury will eliminate a customs record keeping requirement for insular goods.

The changes go into effect in 30 days. http://bit.ly/1CeuT3J

--The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will exempt more than a dozen truck drivers from vision requirements. 

The FMCSA will allow 19 drivers who do not meet the agency's vision requirements, often times because they are blind in one eye, to continue operating commercial motor vehicles.

The FMCSA is renewing already existing exemptions for these drivers. http://bit.ly/17btQd2

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Drones: A California-based company is trying to give American homeowners a way to protect their privacy from drones ahead of flight regulations from the federal government. http://bit.ly/1zTHY3Y

Prisoners: Sens. John CornynJohn CornynBlack lawmakers warn against complacency after Juneteenth victory The Senate is where dreams go to die Federal government to observe Juneteenth holiday on Friday MORE (R-Texas) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseCentrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle Lawmakers rally around cyber legislation following string of attacks Graham, Whitehouse: Global transition to renewables would help national security MORE (D-R.I.), both on the Judiciary Committee, are reintroducing a prison reform bill, which aims to reduce the federal inmate population, now just over 210,000. http://bit.ly/1vhn4b4

Federal union workers: Federal union employees gathered in Washington on Tuesday to rally for higher wages and fewer federal spending cuts. http://bit.ly/1DfJAHA\

Banks: Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Democrats have turned solidly against gas tax Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 MORE (D-Mass.) says big banks are using small banks to weaken financial regulations. http://bit.ly/1zTqXah

ObamaCare: The Supreme Court case against the Affordable Care Act could be unraveling as new questions swirl about the challenger, The Wall Street Journal reported.http://on.wsj.com/1KJNyZO

Same-sex marriage: Alabama authorities are defying a federal court ruling that cleared the way for same-sex marriages in the state, The Washington Post reported.http://wapo.st/1uBiARn

Federal employees: Federal workers can now be tracked thanks to an interactive map released by the Federal Employed Women association on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported. http://wapo.st/1DYln7k

Mail: Paper billing could be what's saving the U.S. Postal Service, The Washington Post reported. http://wapo.st/1KFCdfg

 

BY THE NUMBERS

$159 billion: Amount federal workers have lost in compensation cuts since 2011.

$35 billion: Amount a GOP bill would save over five years by limiting the hiring of new federal workers.

73: The percentage of respondents to a Reuters/Ipos online poll who said they want regulations for drones. 

42: The percentage of Reuters/Ipos poll respondents who said they oppose private ownership of drones.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"The National Labor Relations Board is supposed to be a neutral arbiter of federal labor law. Yet under the president's watch, it has pursued a culture of union favoritism that is detrimental to America's workers and job creators." – House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerAre maskless House members scofflaws? Israel, Democrats and the problem of the Middle East Joe Crowley to register as lobbyist for recording artists MORE (R-Ohio)

 

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.

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