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Overnight Regulation: Feds ban smoking in public housing

Overnight Regulation: Feds ban smoking in public housing
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Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily news from Capitol Hill, the federal agencies, courts and beyond. It's Wednesday evening here in Washington. Here's the latest.

 

THE BIG STORY

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Wednesday it will ban smoking in public housing units in an effort to protect millions of low-income tenants from the effects of secondhand smoke.

The smoking ban will apply to more than 940,000 homes that are subsidized by the federal government. 

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"Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy home free from harmful second-hand cigarette smoke," Housing Secretary Julián Castro said in a statement.

The smoking ban comes as the clock winds down on the Obama administration and is scheduled to go into effect in 18 months, but it could be overturned by President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE and the incoming Republican-controlled Congress.

Residents living in more than 228,000 public housing units already face smoking bans from state and local authorities. HUD plans to expand the policy to another 700,000 homes.

Under the ban, traditional cigarettes, cigars and hookah will be prohibited, but HUD carved out an exemption for electronic cigarettes.

Low-income housing residents will still be allowed to smoke, but not inside their homes or within 25 feet of any public housing building. 

The move is intended to protect children who live with smokers, as well as their neighbors, who are often exposed to secondhand smoke that travels through shared walls and ceilings.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2gWfUMC

 

ON TAP FOR THURSDAY

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing to examine harassment and gender discrimination at the Agriculture Department. http://bit.ly/2gyQQZ1

The House Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing on Volkswagen's emissions cheating settlement. http://bit.ly/2gLAoUn

The Senate Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management Subcommittee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs will hold a hearing to examine two Government Accountability Office reports regarding the renewable fuel standard. http://bit.ly/2fF4uww

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 138 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Thursday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what is happening:

—The National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will not require new safety measures for cars that get submerged in water.

The NHTSA will deny a petition to require automakers to install "emergency glass-breaking tools" inside of vehicles that could help car occupants escape.

"The data available to the agency shows there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the actual number of occupants that may have died due solely to drowning while trapped in an immersed vehicle," the NHTSA writes.

"The potential effectiveness of such a tool to successfully aid an occupant's safe exit from an immersed vehicle is also not known."

The agency noted that automakers could install these devices without a government regulation mandating they do so, or consumers could purchase them for their own cars.

The decision goes into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/2gGZBmp

—The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will propose new rules for medical examiners.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/2gWdoGh

—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will consider prohibiting murderers, sexual abusers, and lottery winners from receiving food stamps.

The USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will propose new eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which administers food stamps for poor families.

The proposed changes to SNAP would prohibit "fleeing felons — including people convicted of murder and sexual assault — from receiving food stamps if they are "not in compliance with the terms of their sentence." It would also target families that have won the lottery, "until the household meets the allowable financial resources and income eligibility requirements," the agency says.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/2gyJF2K

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW 

Supreme Court divided over indefinite detention of immigrants http://bit.ly/2gWkBGe

EPA decides not to weaken car efficiency rules http://bit.ly/2fSbLrD

FDA: Smoking exposure kills dogs, cats http://bit.ly/2gJFSQx

San Bernardino victims say the country's health plan is victimizing them again – The New York Times http://nyti.ms/2fEswIk

FBI to gain expanded hacking powers as Senate effort to block fails – Reuters http://reut.rs/2glXlAr

Progressives black Trump's Treasury pick – The Huffington Post http://huff.to/2fRTQRJ

 

 BY THE NUMBERS 

58 million: How many people are consistently exposed to secondhand smoke.

(Source: Food and Drug Administration)  http://bit.ly/2gJFSQx