OVERNIGHT REGULATION: New push for political spending rule

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Tuesday evening here in Washington and the Senate finally has a deal to vote on Loretta Lynch's nomination for attorney general as soon as tomorrow.

Here's what else is happening.

 

THE BIG STORY

Financial reformers are calling once again for regulations that would require publicly traded companies to disclose their campaign spending to shareholders.

Investors and state officials, including Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, sent letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday asking the agency to protect shareholders' rights.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We can't do our job effectively without transparency in how corporations are spending shareholders' money," Wheeler told reporters on Tuesday.

This is the latest push in a long-running dispute. Though advocates argue that political expenditures should be disclosed to help shareholders make informed investment decisions, business groups see it as an attack on free speech and claim the rule falls outside the SEC's expertise.

The agency added consideration of a proposed rule to its formal rule-making agenda in December 2013 and said it would make a decision by May 2014. Over a million comments poured into the agency, but SEC ultimately dropped the proposal following pressure from business groups and congressional Republicans.

In a statement, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said campaign finance "should never be a function of the SEC."

Critics say the issue should be left to the Federal Election Commission to decide.

"They're trying to make it a political issue, but the SEC has said if there's information that's going to help investors make investments they should have it as long as they hold the security," said corporate shareholder Daniel Simon.

SEC declined to respond to the groups' letters, which noted that roughly $7 billion was spent in the last presidential election cycle, including more than $300 million from undisclosed donors.

Check out The Hill online tomorrow for the full story.

 

ON TAP FOR WEDNESDAY

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on reauthorizing and potentially reforming the Land and Water Conservation Fund. http://1.usa.gov/1Jcd229

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on "Weathering the Storm: How Can We Better Communicate Weather to Enhance Commerce and Safety?" http://1.usa.gov/1D5GRMP

The House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing on "Small Business, Big Threat: Protecting Small Businesses from Cyber Attacks." http://1.usa.gov/1bcUCDd

The House Agriculture Committee's Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the reauthorization of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act. http://1.usa.gov/1K2NN3b

The House Homeland Security Committee's Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee will hold a hearing on "Acquisition Oversight: How Effectively Is DHS Safeguarding Taxpayer Dollars?" http://1.usa.gov/1OObIWT

The Health and Human Services Department and the Food and Drug Administration will meet to discuss statistical issues associated with the development and review of therapeutic drugs and biologic medicines. http://bit.ly/1bqPA6P

The Environmental Protection Agency will hold a meeting by teleconference of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to discussion letters regarding the Refinery Rule and the Clean Power Rule. http://bit.ly/1G4bLYf

The Environmental Protection Agency's Human Studies Review Board will meet to discuss EPA's ethical and scientific reviews of research with human subjects. http://1.usa.gov/1EpsSsz

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 228 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Wednesday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to look for:

--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will look into new regulations addressing the security of special nuclear material.

The NRC is issuing a regulatory basis document that would lead to future rulemaking, the agency says. http://bit.ly/1J7fR84

--The Department of Labor (DOL) will extend a review of the health and safety of coal miners.

The Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) originally issued a request for information in February that could help the agency with future rulemaking to protect coal miners, and is now extending the comment period.

The public will now have through June 26 to comment. http://bit.ly/1Gg00Dj

--The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will issue a policy statement aimed at interstate natural gas pipelines.

The policy statement highlights the standards pipelines will be required to meet in order to recover the costs of upgrading their facilities and infrastructure for safety reasons.

The policy statement goes into effect on Oct. 1. http://bit.ly/1aPfJuU

--The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will issue new guidelines for pharmaceutical companies submitting clinical trials to the agency for lung cancer drugs.

The guidance will advise companies of suitable endpoints for their clinical trials.

It goes into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1Fc6HF8

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Guns: Republicans scrutinized for AR-15 photo on Capitol Hill. http://bit.ly/1Hr3zVO

Police: Lawmakers exempted from D.C. assault rifle ban. http://bit.ly/1bgWHyd

Drug czar: The DEA chief will resign following the controversy over alleged sex parties, according to CBS. http://cbsn.ws/1QfbUAf

Marijuana: Pot lobbyists are pushing for a more drug-friendly DEA chief to replace her. http://bit.ly/1bgX0ZP

Shampoo: New legislation would increase regulations on shampoos and deodorants. http://bit.ly/1Ocdqo2

Dogs: The Supreme Court says police officers can't hold suspects until drug-sniffing dogs arrive. http://bit.ly/1HgqRiK

 

BY THE NUMBERS

$60 billion: The minimum revenue the personal care product industry expects to see in the U.S. this year.

75: How many years have passed since regulations governing the industry have been updated.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"If you touch me again, I'll drop your ass," -- Rep. Stephen Knight (R-Calif.) speaking to an immigration protester. http://bit.ly/1yMWOw9

 

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.

Click here to sign up for the newsletter: http://bit.ly/1pc6tau