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Overnight Regulation: Republicans advance bill to roll back labor rule

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Wednesday evening here in Washington, where Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges dropped by to draw attention to child hunger. http://bit.ly/1LYH4qS.

Also, Attorney General Loretta Lynch is home sick with the flu. It's a good time for a reminder: It's flu season, folks. Get your shots.

Here's the latest.

 

THE BIG STORY

A Republican-backed bill to roll back a controversial labor policy cleared a key House panel Wednesday.

The Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act, introduced in September, aims to strike down a National Labor Relations Board policy that holds companies responsible for labor violations committed by affiliated businesses -- for instance holding a franchisor liable for wrongdoing by a franchisee. http://bit.ly/1MgYFz6

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The House Education and Workforce Committee voted along party lines 21-15 to send the bill to the floor for final approval.

"The National Labor Relations Board has played a leading role in advancing the president's flawed, top-down approach to the economy," Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) said in a statement, "and its effort to redefine what it means to be an employer is just the latest example."

The GOP has often been at odds with the National Labor Relations Board over the course of the Obama administration. The latest attempt by the agency to redefine what it means to be a "joint employer" has Republicans up in arms.

The NLRB argues that businesses hide behind staffing agencies and contractors so they can avoid dealing with unions. In many cases, these companies define the working conditions faced by their contractors' employees and therefore should also negotiate with unions, the board argues.

But Republicans blasted the decision as yet another way to expand labor's grip on the workforce.

The bill has a good chance to glide through the GOP-controlled Congress, but Republicans will likely be unable to override a veto from President Obama.

 

ON TAP FOR THURSDAY 

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing to examine mental health and substance abuse disorders. http://1.usa.gov/1Gkaov0

The House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing to examine the costs and challenges of the Environmental Protection Agency's Power Plan. http://1.usa.gov/20aNBs3

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will meet to examine the regulation of diagnostic tests and laboratory operations. http://1.usa.gov/1GtlDRP

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 207 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Thursday's edition of the Federal Register.

--The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will open an investigation into smartwatches.

The International Trade Commission is reviewing a complaint by Atlanta-based Intellectual Capital Consulting against dozens of automobile manufacturers over the sale of vehicular smartwatch systems. The complaint alleges import violations.

The public has eight days to comment. http://bit.ly/1Xzkn40

--The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will issue new medical regulations to cut down on long wait times at the agency's facilities.

In response to the VA scandal, the agency is establishing a program to provide veterans who cannot be seen within a certain period of time with outside medical services.

The VA is updating the payment methods for these services.

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

--The United States Mint will attempt to root out fraud in a program that allows people to exchange damaged coins for new ones.

The agency is putting on hold a program that is intended to remove bent and partial coins from the market.

"Because of the possibility of unlawful activity on the exchange program, the United States Mint is suspending its redemption of bent and partial coins for a period of six months to assess the security of the program and develop additional safeguards," the agency wrote.

The suspension goes into effect on Nov. 2. http://bit.ly/1RBSh43

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW 

Federal court finds Corinthian College liable for $530M http://bit.ly/1RBUJrb

The Dude presses lawmakers over childhood hunger http://bit.ly/1LYH4qS

Budget deal OKs federal robocalls to collect student debt - The Hill's Mario Trujillo http://bit.ly/1M2jkWf

Judges set new net neutrality battle - The Hill's Mario Trujillo  http://bit.ly/1PUPRPA

Fed leaves key rate near zero, hints at possible December hike - USA Today http://usat.ly/1MUm6cB

Army settles with infection control staffer who exposed hospital's dangers to patient care - The Washington Post http://wapo.st/1MtHjjj

Appeals court rules more immigrants should get bond hearings - The AP http://bit.ly/1jRZcMe

 

BY THE NUMBERS 

$530 million: Corinthian College's liabilities for scamming students, according to a federal court ruling.

$0: How much students will receive from that judgment. The for-profit school filed for bankruptcy in May and its assets have been liquidated.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"We haven't updated the summer meal programs since 1968 when they came into being. And we've updated, certainly, our iPhones, our watches, our cars, our televisions, everything we have. But we haven't updated the health of our kids during the summer," -- Actor Jeff Bridges aka "The Dude."

 

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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