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Overnight Regulation: Supporters push for TV box reforms ahead of vote

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Wednesday evening here in Washington where the Senate just passed a short-term bill to fund the government through Dec. 9.

Here's the latest. 

 

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THE BIG STORY 

Democrats are pushing the Federal Communications Commission to open the market for television set-top boxes. 

As The Hill's David McCabe reports, the commissioners are expected to vote Thursday on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal to force pay-television companies like Comcast and DirecTV to create applications through which customers could watch live video on devices like a smart television. 

"Fortunately, the FCC is taking a strong step to finally allow consumer choice in the set-top box market by creating rules that would allow Americans the ability to use the set-top box of their choice, promoting competition and innovation," said Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenBad jobs report amplifies GOP cries to end 0 benefits boost Putting a price on privacy: Ending police data purchases Overnight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states MORE (D-Ore.) in a statement.

"At this Thursday's FCC Commission meeting I urge the Commissioners to pass Chairman Wheeler's proposal and unlock the box."

He was joined by Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenMaher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' Why Caitlyn Jenner should not be dismissed #MeWho? The hypocritical silence of Kamala Harris MORE (D-Minn.), who also said the commission should adopt rules to give customers more ways to watch live television.

"Can you imagine how much easier that would be than the outdated way we're doing things now?" said Franken on his Facebook page. "The FCC is voting on the proposal tomorrow, and I really hope they'll side with consumers and vote to unlock the box."

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Wheeler's proposal has sparked fierce lobbying on both sides.

Industry opponents have rallied their congressional allies against a part of the proposal that would give the FCC oversight of the licenses between providers and device manufacturers.

The swing vote could prove to be Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who has also said she doesn't think the commission has the authority to pursue the oversight role as it has been written.

That could force Wheeler to make changes to earn her vote. 

See the full story here. http://bit.ly/2dl8gcP

 

ON TAP FOR THURSDAY 

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management will hold a hearing to look at what factors into millennials' decision to work for the federal government. http://bit.ly/2dgsGoV

The House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology will hold a hearing on how to streamline regulations governing academic research. http://bit.ly/2cWsmq5

The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations will hold a hearing on the outcomes of the 2016 test site for the 2020 Census. http://bit.ly/2d7DplZ

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY 

The Obama administration will publish 206 new proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Thursday's edition of the Federal Register. Here's what to look for: 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is proposing new safety standards for baby changing tables. The proposed rule calls for more stringent requirements for structural integrity, restraint system integrity and warnings on labels and in instructional literature

The Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) will finalize enforceable guidelines requiring insured banks, federal savings associations and insured federal branches of foreign banks with average total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more to follow certain standards when it comes to recovery planning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is finalizing a rule to exempt manufacturers from having to meet vehicle theft prevention standards if the vehicle is equipped with an immobilizer type anti-theft device. An immobilizer anti-theft device combines microchip and transponder technology with engine and fuel immobilizer components that can prevent vehicles from starting unless a verified code is received by the transponder.

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW 

Yellen defends Fed from Trump attacks http://bit.ly/2dsob66

Both sides optimistic on EPA climate case http://bit.ly/2dsfOrc

Senate Dems: Don't leave for break without Supreme Court vote http://bit.ly/2d5frnY

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Dems troubled by approval of proof-of-citizenship to vote in 3 states http://bit.ly/2dDTRZB

White House threatens to veto bill delaying overtime rule http://bit.ly/2dlNIgE

Top Dem: Cures bill funding cut to $4B http://bit.ly/2dleo4F

SEC approves rule to shorten settlement periods http://bit.ly/2cChywo

Dems urge FCC to approve TV box rules http://bit.ly/2dl8gcP

State sanctions officials hints at more probes of Chinese firms http://bit.ly/2cCTMVY

California to allow terminally ill access to experimental drugs http://bit.ly/2d5rtgZ

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Senators express 'grave concerns' about ObamaCare 'bailout'

Student loan defaults drop, but the numbers are rigged – Bloomberg http://bloom.bg/2dDU674

 

BY THE NUMBERS 

31: Cases the Supreme Court has already agreed to hear in the new term that starts next week. 

6 months: How long House Republicans are trying to delay President Obama's overtime rule.

 

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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