OVERNIGHT REGULATION: House weighs federal rules for GMO labels

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Monday evening here in Washington and now that Republican Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP senators ask for federal investigation into social media companies' decision-making The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke Ted Cruz blasts Tennessee GOP governor for declaration honoring early KKK leader MORE (Texas) has officially launched his bid for the presidency we're wondering who will be next? Is "Emailgate" far enough behind former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton responds to Trump tweets telling Dem lawmakers to 'go back' to their countries The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur: Here's how to choose a president MORE for her to start campaigning and will Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Camerota clashes with Trump's immigration head over president's tweet LA Times editorial board labels Trump 'Bigot-in-Chief' Trump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates MORE finally put his money where his mouth is and run? 

But, in the meantime, here's what's happening in the administration and the federal agencies.

 

THE BIG STORY

The House Agriculture Committee will examine the costs and impacts of mandatory biotechnology labeling laws at a hearing Tuesday morning.

Lawmakers are pushing for a federal law that would require manufacturers to label all genetically engineered foods and any food products that contain genetically engineered ingredients.

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The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced in the House and Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list MORE (D-Calif.) introduced in the Senate, would direct the Food and Drug Administration to enforce the new rule.

But some industry groups would rather have a federal solution than a federal mandate. 

The Snack Food Association said it supports a federal solution of volunatry labeling that pre-empts state laws because having to comply with a patchwork of state laws would dramatically increase costs for manufacturers and consumers.  

"The entire supply chain from sourcing to production to transportation would be negatively impacted," SFA CEO Thomas Dempsey said in an email to The Hill Monday afternoon.

"SFA does not have a single member company that manufactures, distributes, and sells in just one state, which would make a patchwork of state labeling laws incredibly complex to implement.  Small, family-owned companies with just one plant or a single line of production would be hit the hardest."

Dempsey will be a witness at the hearing Tuesday along with Joanna Lidback, owner of The Farm at Wheeler Mountain in Westmore, Vt.; Lynn Clarkson, president of Clarkson Grain Co. Inc. in Cerro Gordo, Ill.; and Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O' Lakes Inc.

Though the Boxer-DeFazio bill aims to inform consumers about what they are eating, opponents say it fails to create a national labeling standard.

The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food has said that the bill would exacerbate the labeling conundrum by adding a federal mandate and penalties to an already existing patchwork of state laws and regulations.

 

ON TAP FOR TUESDAY

The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee will hold a full committee hearing to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Waters of the United States rule. http://1.usa.gov/19LbC3B

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Sally Yates to be deputy attorney general. http://1.usa.gov/1Ilz7vm

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing to examine the regulatory regime for regional banks. http://1.usa.gov/1LPlOst

The House Transportation and Infrastructure's Aviation Subcommittee will hold a hearing to discuss options for Federal Aviation Administration traffic control reform. http://1.usa.gov/1EJB2sy

The House Judiciary's Internet Subcommittee will hold a hearing on patent reform and how to protect American innovators and job creators from abusive patent litigation. http://1.usa.gov/1BnSC0y

The House Energy and Commerce Environment and the Economy Subcommittee will hold day two of its hearing on the "Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015." http://1.usa.gov/1xsmjTb

The House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the National Labor Relations Board budget. http://1.usa.gov/1x9CmET

The Health and Human Services Department and the Agriculture Department will hold a meeting to receive comments on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report. http://1.usa.gov/OosXV4

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 205 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Tuesday's edition of the Federal Register.

--The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) says it will issue new regulations for hydraulic fracturing on Indian lands.

The BLM's hydraulic fracturing regulations, originally proposed in May 2012, are intended to protect local water supplies and disclose which chemicals are being used in the process, the agency says.

The rule goes into effect in 90 days. http://bit.ly/1HrdvN5

--The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will issue new residual interest regulations for brokers. The CFTC will continue to use a phased-in compliance schedule for futures commission merchants, the agency says.

The rule goes into effect in 60 days. http://bit.ly/1BnU4A6

--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will ease restrictions on two chemical substances.

The EPA will remove the requirement for manufacturers to notify the agency before using these chemical substances, which are metal salts.

The changes go into effect in 60 days. http://bit.ly/1Bb8XGL

--The EPA will issue new emissions reporting requirements. 

The agency is changing the way that coal- and oil-fired units must report hazardous air pollution.

The changes go into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1xVbsf8

--The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will reconsider a plan to loosen the protections for certain woodland caribou.

The FWS proposed last May to downgrade woodland caribou in the southern Selkirk Mountains from endangered to threatened, but said Monday it is reopening the comment period to give the public more time to discuss the potential changes.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/19fNxAy

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Football: The NFL is halting a controversial television blackout policy that blocked some football games from being broadcast to local viewers. http://bit.ly/1HuIf2Z

NFL: The outgoing head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is leaving the agency to take a job with the NFL, the New York Post reports. http://bit.ly/1LPtJWS

Police shootings: A DOJ review of the Philadelphia Police Department finds that black suspects were the targets of more than 80 percent of shots fired by officers over a seven-year period. http://bit.ly/19fT8qL

Financial advisers: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is forging ahead on controversial new regulations for financial advisers. http://bit.ly/1GMkLmK

Nukes: Democrats are looking to cut $100 billion from the military's nuclear weapons budget over the next decade. http://bit.ly/1xdB8sn

Internet: The Obama administration is moving forward with a new initiative to increase high-speed Internet access around the country. http://bit.ly/1BbgW6H

Fast food: Consumer groups are urging fast food restaurants like Burger King, Wendy's, and Subway to boycott certain genetically-engineered apples and potatoes. http://bit.ly/19fPKMi

Digital security: The Federal Trade Commission is investigating the digital security of "smart" devices in an effort to protect consumers' information from hackers. http://bit.ly/1FRI004

 

BY THE NUMBERS

1: The weekly number of officer-involved shootings at the Philadelphia Police Department.

15: The percent of unarmed suspects who were shot by Philadelphia police officers.

80: The percent of suspects involved in these shootings who were black.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"The fact that this carcinogen may be polluting the air inside New York City apartments and homes newly rebuilt after Sandy makes it a top concern for this region, and it seems abundantly clear that the company cannot be left to its own devices in addressing this potential health threat," Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Charities say they never received donations touted by Jeffrey Epstein: report Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a news release Monday calling on the feds to investigate allegations that Lumber Liquidators is selling flooring that contains high levels of formaldehyde. http://bit.ly/1xsxQ4X

 

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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