OVERNIGHT REGULATION: GOP bill would block courts on same-sex marriage

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Wednesday evening here in Washington and we're hoping Chris Christie does a lip synch battle with Jimmy Fallon tonight on NBC's "The Tonight Show." Fingers crossed he sings Sir Mix-a-lot. Here's what else is happening.

 

THE BIG STORY

Less than a week before the Supreme Court plans to hear arguments in what could be a landmark ruling on gay marriage, a Republican lawmaker is trying to keep federal judges from overturning state bans on same-sex marriage.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced the Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act of 2015 to keep federal courts from ruling on gay marriage. 

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The bill, unveiled Wednesday, would restrict Article III of the Constitution, which gives federal courts the jurisdiction to hear or decide cases, for any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, any type of marriage.

It would also prohibit federal funds from being used for any litigation over gay marriage or the enforcement of any order or judgment by any federal court.

In a news release King said federal courts have "perverted the Constitution" and he urged the House to bring his bill to the floor to "stop courts from destroying traditional marriage." 

"For too long, federal courts have overstepped their constitutionally limited duty to interpret the Constitution," he said.

But Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights, called King a "sore loser."

"King's anti-equality views didn't pass constitutional muster, so now he's just chosen to be a sore loser and invented his own process in his disdain for the courts," JoDee Winterhoff, HRC's vice president for policy and political affairs, said in a statement. "And just to be clear about this: last time marriage was on the ballot, it won in four states."

 

ON TAP FOR THURSDAY

The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the devastating impacts of wild fires and the need to better manage overgrown, fire-prone national forests. http://1.usa.gov/1HW9Ppm

The House Education and the Workforce Committee's Workforce Protections Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Protecting America's Workers: An Enforcement Update from the Mine Safety and Health Administration." http://1.usa.gov/1yRkYFR

The House Financial Services' Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee will hold a hearing on "Examining Regulatory Burdens - Regulator Perspective." http://1.usa.gov/1GeWrdO

The Health and Human Services Department and the Food and Drug Administration will hold a meeting to discuss the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act and how to implement a strategy for prevention-oriented food safety standards. http://1.usa.gov/1IJPJNd

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 151 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and others administration actions in Thursday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to look for:

--The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will issue a safety advisory to hazardous materials shipping companies to make available timely emergency response information.

Hazardous materials shipping companies will be required to update this information on a regular basis and make it immediately available to emergency responders, the agency says. http://bit.ly/1EdxxM8

--The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will issue a safety advisory for railroads.

In the event of a derailment of a high hazard flammable train, railroads will be required to provide investigators with certain information immediately following the accident, the agencies write.

The regulators say "time is of the essence in gathering evidence" following high hazard flammable train crashes. http://bit.ly/1DjgzrO

--The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will propose to update its competitive bidding rules.

The proposed rules would establish a competitive process for bidding on spectrum.

The public has 21 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1G8s6ef

--The Department of Energy (DOE) will correct mistakes made in an energy conservation rule it proposed earlier this month addressing test procedures for pumps.

The corrections go into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1Pk5xtZ

--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will allow farmers to use a limited amount of a pesticide known as bicyclopyrone to protect their crops.

The EPA will establish a tolerance for bicyclopyrone to be used on corn, sugarcane, and meat products.

The changes go into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1Ff6cdp

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Gay marriage: Republican legislation would block federal courts from hearing same-sex marriage cases. http://bit.ly/1DChbrM

Bullet ban: A Democrat is looking to revive a controversial bullet ban under the new leadership of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). http://bit.ly/1Gk61yQ

Racial profiling: Police would be further restricted from racially profiling suspects under new legislation. http://bit.ly/1IJK6yp

Religious freedom: Small business owners are split on whether they would support measures similar to Indiana's religious freedom law in their own states that would allow them to reject business from same-sex couples. http://bit.ly/1Gjsqtd

Cybersecurity: The House passed a major cybersecurity bill on Wednesday. http://bit.ly/1Gk7Xau

 

BY THE NUMBERS

53: Percent of small business owners who would not support a religious freedom law similar to Indiana's in their own state.

47: Percent of small business owners who would support such a law.

42: Percent of small business owners who would drug test their workers even if marijuana was legalized.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Police can still mention race when giving a description of a suspect, but they can't say, 'There's an African American driving a fancy car. Let's pull him over,'" -- a Senate Democratic aide on new legislation in Congress that would expand prohibitions on racial profiling. http://bit.ly/1zNMTSg

 

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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