Overnight Regulation

Overnight Regulation: GOP concerned about White House pressure on FCC cable-box plan

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill and beyond. It’s Tuesday evening here in Washington, where we’re about to ruin our appetites for dinner at the Congressional Pie Reception. Yum.

Here’s the latest.



President Obama’s support for the Federal Communication’s Commission’s plan to open the market for television set-top boxes has Republicans like Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) concerned.

{mosads}In letters to the White House and FCC, Cornyn said he’s troubled by claims administration officials are pressuring an independent agency on the proposed reforms, which he said could determine winners and losers in the industry. Companies that provide live video services, like Comcast, will be forced to open up their video feeds to firms that want to make their own boxes, providing new competition for the set-top box market. 

The Hill’s David McCabe has the full report

Cornyn asked for extensive information from both the administration and Wheeler, including records of communications between the FCC and the White House as well as visitor and vehicle travel logs for both.

The letters were first reported by Politico on Tuesday morning. An FCC spokesperson said the agency had received the letter and was reviewing it.

Opponents have said the proposal, which the FCC formally voted to consider earlier this year and will need to be voted on again before it can take effect, would endanger consumer privacy and the copyright protections enjoyed by video creators. They also argued it would hurt minority and independent programmers.

The Obama administration nodded at those concerns in their comments but endorsed the plans as good for competition and consumers.

Conservatives see echoes of Obama’s decision to endorse an aggressive approach to maintain net neutrality in 2014; months later, the FCC enacted strict net neutrality rules.



The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism will hold a hearing to discuss ransomware and solutions to the threat. http://1.usa.gov/22foC6F

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing to mark up legislation to reauthorize child nutrition programs and school meal standards. http://1.usa.gov/1TXQ6dz

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will also meet to mark up a resolution disapproving of the Labor Department’s union “persuader rule.” http://1.usa.gov/1R6SxpI

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on employee misconduct at the Environmental Protection Agency. http://1.usa.gov/1s6wDy7



Join us 5/24 for State of the Sharing Economy: A Discussion on the Future of Cross-Border Commerce, featuring conversations with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Navdeep Bains, Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development. Topics of discussion include: New markets created by technological innovation, the global sharing economy, and policy & regulatory reforms to protect personal and proprietary data. Register here.



The Obama administration will publish 164 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Wednesday’s edition of the Federal Register.

–The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will propose new Internet access requirements for low-income housing projects to help “narrow the digital divide.”

“HUD proposes to require installation of broadband infrastructure at the time of new construction or substantial rehabilitation of multifamily rental housing that is funded or supported by HUD,” the agency writes.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1TGxTP5

–HUD will also correct a mistake made in a proposed housing discrimination rule.

HUD proposed new protections for low-income Native Americans and Hawaiians who are transgender on May 9, but is now fixing an error in the rule.

The public has until July 8 to comment. http://bit.ly/1YzKurk

–The Department of Labor (DOL) will correct mistakes made in the silica rule.

The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration published new exposure limits for silica dust in March, and will now fix errors in the rule.

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



AFL-CIO: CEOs make 335 times more than workers. http://bit.ly/1WCZgjf

Public schools are ‘resegregating,’ Dems say. http://bit.ly/1TWl8Ql

Report: Regs spending has increased twentyfold since Eisenhower. http://bit.ly/1Nxh7Fq

GOP repurposes EPA pesticide bill for Zika. http://bit.ly/1TlEilj

U.S. says proposed Chinese regulations may fragment the internet. http://bit.ly/1R6XMFN

Study finds no adverse health effects from genetically engineered crops. http://bit.ly/23WpzQJ

Treasury loosens sanctions on Burma. http://bit.ly/1W0TTKB

Key House Dems slam talks on chemical safety reform http://bit.ly/24XULkS

SEC rewards whistleblower with third-largest award http://bit.ly/1TWpqqN

Top Republican raises questions about FCC set-top box proposal http://bit.ly/1TmdfWY

FCC Dem agrees with GOP: Internet privacy rules could use more time http://bit.ly/1rSmqFQ



$533 million: President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s regulatory budget in his final year in office. 

$70 billion: How much President Obama mapped out for regulatory activities in his 2017 budget proposal to Congress.

(Source: A study, “Regulators’ Budget from Eisenhower to Obama,” from George Washington University and Washington University in St. Louis.) http://bit.ly/1Nxh7Fq



“Our nation’s schools are, in fact, largely segregated by race and class. What’s more troubling, is that segregation in public schools is not getting better; it’s actually getting worse,” — Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.).

Democrats warned Tuesday that public schools are “resegregating at an alarming rate” more than a half century after the Civil Rights Movement. http://bit.ly/1TWl8Ql


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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