Overnight Regulation: Group pressures Dems to oppose reg reform package

Welcome to Overnight Regulations, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Thursday evening here in Washington and we're looking forward to Friday. 

Here's the latest.

 

THE BIG STORY 

Liberal activist group Credo Action has launched a petition aimed at destroying a regulatory reform package it says would weaken Wall Street watchdog agencies.

The petition, which has 6,410 signatures so far, asks Senate Democrats to stand with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNew CDC overdose estimates are nothing to celebrate 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Democratic Houston councilwoman announces Senate bid MORE (D-Mass.) against the bills.

The New York Times reported last week that the package, being worked on by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, is likely to include a measure to subject independent agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Securities and Exchange Commission to a strict cost-benefit analysis and review process for major rules.

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Credo Action said the bills would undermine regulators that are needed to make sure capitalism works.

"They make sure markets are fair, protect our air and our water, and ensure that we're not taken advantage of giant corporations or gouged by Wall Street banks," the group's petition said. "We need to reform and strengthen our regulators and make sure they are always working for us, not tie up their hands."

In a statement to The Hill, Warren said federal rulemaking is broken because there are too many opportunities for powerful industry groups to rig the process.

"Reform is badly needed, but this package heads in the wrong direction, giving lobbyists and lawyers more chances to block outcomes they don't like," she said. "Reform should focus on a level playing field for working families and small businesses, not more ways to tilt the game for the rich and powerful."

But Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who is part of the rule-writing process, said the bills aim to create a more efficient regulatory process that ultimately produces better regulations.

Read the full story here: http://bit.ly/1WQbNx9

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 46 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Friday's edition of the Federal Register.

--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will propose new greenhouse gas reporting requirements for petroleum and natural gas systems.

The new greenhouse gas reporting requirements include "monitoring methods for detecting leaks from oil and gas equipment." They also include measures to calculate emissions caused by equipment leaks.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1P0xtBt

--The General Services Administration (GSA) will propose new travel expense rules for government contractors.

The GSA is considering updating federal travel regulations to encourage government contractors to use travel charge cards "as often as practicable," the agency says.

"This proposed rule emphasizes the need for agencies to maximize travel charge card rebates by increasing the use of the travel charge card," the agency writes.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1nRTP18

--The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will propose new non-discrimination requirements for retirement plans.

The non-discrimination requirements would "provide additional benefits to a grandfathered group of employees following certain changes in the coverage of a defined benefit plan or a defined benefit plan formula," the agency writes.

The public has 90 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1Sem7Qz

--The State Department will issue new rules for foreign exchange teachers.

The exchange teachers must have at least two years of experience before participating in the program, according to the State Department. They will be allowed to teach here for up to three years.

The rules go into effect in 30 days. http://bit.ly/1JJiora

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Government reports uptick in union membership. http://bit.ly/23wrI8a

Sanders flips vote on gun control bill. http://bit.ly/1nqViLA

Manufacturing head says industry will help environment, not government. http://bit.ly/1PIQZrU

Super Bowl bets hit $4.2B. http://bit.ly/1PIR3YH

Jeb Bush PAC plots Super Bowl ad in New Hampshire. http://bit.ly/1SeouTr

Sen. Kirk pressured to support criminal justice reform bill. http://bit.ly/1Sm6Efo

 

BY THE NUMBERS

6.7: Percent of private-sector workers who are unionized.

35.2: Percent of public-sector workers who are unionized.

(Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics).

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Mercy, redemption and rehabilitation are just as much part of a just society as punishment," Rabbi Seth Limmer, of the Chicago Sinai Congregation said Thursday. Liberal groups are urging Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkAdvocates push for EpiPens on flights after college student's mid-flight allergic reaction Funding the fight against polio Ex-GOP Sen. Kirk registers to lobby MORE (R-Ill.) to support the Senate's criminal justice reform bill.

 

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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