Overnight Regulation: Court orders SEC response to political spending petition

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Monday evening here in Washington and we're hoping this cold snap is officially over. Here's the latest. 

 

THE BIG STORY 

The nation’s second most powerful court on Monday ordered the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to explain why it has not responded to a request for a political spending rule.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered the SEC to respond within the 30 days to a petition the Campaign for Accountability (CfA) filed on behalf of Stephen Silberstein and explain why the agency has not responded to his request for a rule requiring corporations to disclosure their political spending.  

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CfA, which has long pushed the SEC to issue a corporate political spending rule, petitioned the court in February to force action on Silberstein’s request.  

“With billions of dollars flowing into the presidential election, shareholders deserve to know how the companies they own are spending corporate funds,” CfA Executive Director Anne Weismann said in a statement in February. “Despite overwhelming public support, the SEC has refused to shed a light on how much money corporations have contributed to ‘dark money’ groups and other political organizations.”

Republicans added language in the 2016 government funding bill barring the SEC from forcing publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending. But Senate Democrats have said the rider does not stop the commission from working on a rule that can be introduced in short order when the funding law expires.  

SEC now has a chance to tell their side of the story. The D.C. Circuit order Monday also gives CfA the right to file a reply 14 days after SEC’s response. http://bit.ly/23pLbdn

 

ON TAP FOR TUESDAY 

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is hosting a block party to celebrate Equal Pay Day. Oscar winning actress and equal pay activist, Patricia Arquette will join Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) in calling on Congress to close the gender pay gap. 

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management will hold a hearing to discus how the USAJOBS website can be improved. http://1.usa.gov/1S1qVUt

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing to examine cybersecurity and protecting taxpayer information. http://1.usa.gov/1YpIqSh

The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing to examine American small businesses perspectives on Environmental Protection Agency regulatory actions. http://1.usa.gov/22oP8cd

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 170 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Tuesday's edition of the Federal Register.

--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will lay the groundwork for new cyber security requirements.

The NRC will issue a regulatory basis document that aims to support a future cybersecurity rulemaking. The agency says it is looking to install new safeguards for some nuclear fuel cycle facility licensees. It has yet to propose these rules.

The regulatory basis document is available immediately. http://bit.ly/1SZQO9I

--The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will issue new military life insurance rules.

The so-called "slayer rule" prohibits a family member who is convicted of killing a veteran or active member of the military from receiving their life insurance benefits.

The rule goes into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1S5ES69

--The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will correct mistakes made in donor screening guidelines for the Zika virus.

The FDA issued Zika virus guidance last month to reduce the risk of transmission, but is now fixing minor errors made in that document.

The correction goes into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1Vit5or

--The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may allow three dozen truck drivers who failed a vision requirement to operate commercial motor vehicles between states.

These truck drivers are often times blind in one eye, but the FMCSA will determine whether they can see well enough in the other eye to safely operate a truck.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1UWjkfM and http://bit.ly/1UWjkwy

  

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive takeaways from Trump's 2020 kickoff rally Five takeaways from Trump's 2020 kickoff rally Sanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally MORE hits Clinton on fracking. http://bit.ly/22poBM5

Litigants fear short-handed Supreme Court might skip case. http://bit.ly/1SbV1u0

California teachers ask Supreme Court to reconsider union case. http://bit.ly/1SJT827

New VA 'slayer' rule targets killers. http://bit.ly/1SbV9JV

Feds push stronger cyber protections at nuclear sites. http://bit.ly/1qKBRj8

Dems call for greater nonbank mortgage oversight. http://bit.ly/1Yq52lO

Grassley targeted ahead of Garland meeting. http://bit.ly/1SbVhZY

Army Times: New Army retention regulation takes effect May 1. http://bit.ly/1SbVDQa

Nonprofit Quarterly: Sober homes without regulation, but not without critics. http://bit.ly/1VO2vCIs

 

BY THE NUMBERS 

79 cents: Average women with full-time jobs in America make compared to every dollar paid to men. 

60 cents: Average African American women make compared to every dollar paid to white men.

$500 billion: How much women are losing every year collectively in the U.S. because of unequal pay.

(Source: A study from the National Partnership for Women & Families) http://bit.ly/1UWDK8E

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

"We designed the rule to prevent slayers from benefiting from their wrongdoing," -- the Department of Veterans Affairs talking about a rule that prevents people who murder members of the military from collecting their life insurance benefits. Read more about the rule here: http://bit.ly/1SbV9JV

 

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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This story was updated at 6:32 p.m.