OVERNIGHT REGULATION: Bill to block EPA water rule gets veto threat

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Wednesday evening here in Washington and the marijuana lobbyists are in town celebrating. 

Here's what else is happening:

 

THE BIG STORY

President Obama is defending a controversial Environmental Protection Agency water rule against Republican attacks.

The White House is threatening to veto the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, which would roll back the water protections proposed by the EPA. http://bit.ly/1EDTC6U

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The EPA already regulates large bodies of water, but the agency is looking to extend its jurisdiction to smaller bodies of water like streams, ponds, and ditches.

Republicans say the rule targets farmers, who have so much as a puddle on their lands. The legislation would force the EPA to withdraw the rule, though it could reissue a new version at a future date.

But the EPA says it is necessary to protect the nation's drinking water.

The White House was quick to defend the rule, accusing Republicans of "hamstringing" regulators and trying to "derail" their efforts to protect water.

"The agencies' rulemaking, grounded in science, is essential to ensure clean water for future generations," the White House wrote. 

 

ON TAP FOR THURSDAY

The Senate Energy and Natural Resource's Public Lands, Forests and Mining Subcommittee will hold a hearing to discuss the Bureau of Land Management's final rule on hydraulic fracturing. http://1.usa.gov/1NKVoJs

The House Agriculture Committee will have a full committee hearing to mark up the "United States Grains Standards Act Reauthorization Act of 2015" and the "Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2015." http://1.usa.gov/1AhISpx

The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Communications and Technology Subcommittee will hold a hearing on "FCC Reauthorization: Improving Commission Transparency." http://1.usa.gov/1GA5icZ

The House Transportation and Infrastructure's Aviation Subcommittee will hold a roundtable discussion on how to ensure the safety of the nation's aviation system. http://1.usa.gov/1B8gtmV

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 166 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Thursday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to watch for:

--The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will issue new protections for two species of mussels.

The agency will designate a critical habitat for the Neosho mucket and rabbitsfoot.

The Neosho mucket's critical habitat spans 483 miles across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. While the rabbitsfoot's critical habitat spans 1,437 miles across Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

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

--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will consider changes for the peak heat release from electrical enclosures.

The agency will issue a draft regulation on refining heat release rates from electrical enclosures during fires.

The public has until June 15 to comment. http://bit.ly/1KuMx9j

--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will deny requests to reconsider the agency's national emissions standards for hazardous air pollution from coal plants.

The EPA received 23 petitions for reconsideration, but will deny those requests in letters to the petitioners.

The letters go into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1GIvemN

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Discrimination cases: In a unanimous ruling Wednesday, the Supreme Court gave employers a small protection against workplace discrimination litigation. http://bit.ly/1J8iSSu

Pot: Marijuana businesses could open bank accounts under legislation unveiled in the House Wednesday. http://bit.ly/1Fyrjrf

Death penalty: The Supreme Court appeared divided Wednesday during heated arguments in a case challenging Oklahoma's use of a three-drug lethal injection 'cocktail,' which death row inmates argue constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. http://bit.ly/1DL59gN

Job-related deaths: A new report from the AFL-CIO finds that an average of 150 workers are killed each day from workplace injuries and other conditions. http://bit.ly/1bfrUkZ

Campaign finance: The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a Florida ban on state judicial candidates personally soliciting campaign donations, placing a limit on campaign finance despite recent decisions that have treated campaign donations as free speech. http://bit.ly/1bVxcDr

Whistleblowers: Advocates fear a House bill could backfire on whistleblowers, The Washington Post reports. http://wapo.st/1HZNnwC

Guantanamo: The Republican-controlled Congress is moving to make it even harder to actually empty the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, NPR reportshttp://n.pr/1bTKhwV

 

BY THE NUMBERS

1,232: The number of inmates who have been put to death by lethal injection since 1976.

34: The number of states that allow the death penalty to be carried out by lethal injection.

158: The number of inmates that have been killed by the electric chair since 1976.

8: The number of states that still use the electric chair, all of which also have lethal injection. 

(Source: the Death Penalty Information Center)

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"America's workers shouldn't have to choose between earning a livelihood and risking their life, yet every day too many end up on the wrong end of that choice," -- AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on a new labor study finding 150 job-related deaths per year. http://bit.ly/1bVKVds

 

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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