Overnight Regulation: Lawmakers vote to block more Obama-era rules

Overnight Regulation: Lawmakers vote to block more Obama-era rules

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill, the courts and beyond. It's Thursday evening here in Washington and we're ready for Friday.

Here's the latest. 



Republicans voted Thursday to eviscerate three more rules from the Obama administration. 

The House voted 236-187 to pass a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to block a rule that requires companies to report any labor law violation or alleged violation they've had in the last three years when bidding on contracts over $500,000. 

Industry has dubbed it the 'blacklisting' rule. They claim it will allow federal agencies to black list them from being able to bid on government contracts for alleged violations before they've been able to prove their innocence. 

Republicans claim the law is duplicative and unnecessary because the federal government already has a suspension and disbarment process in place.


Democrats, however, claim the rule is needed to keep bad actors from continuously and willfully violating labor laws.

A federal district court judge in Texas blocked the rule from taking effect in October after a trade group, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), requested a temporary stay.

In a statement following Thursday's vote, the ABC's Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck thanked lawmakers for taking action to protect contractors and taxpayers.

"As the district court ruled in its preliminary injunction, treating non-adjudicated claims the same as actual wrongdoing denies federal contractors their due process rights," he said.

"ABC supports policies that increase fairness and competition in government contracting and looks forward to working with the Trump administration and Congress to pursue commonsense policies that hold bad actors accountable while attracting the best companies and trained workforce to rebuild America."

For more on the rule and the vote, click here.


The House also voted 235 to 180 to roll back a Social Security Administration (SSA) rule blocking disability recipients with mental disorders like schizophrenia and severe anxiety from owning guns.

The rule was part of former President Obama's plan to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill by reporting them to the FBI's background check system, but critics said the restrictions would have also applied to disability recipients who needed financial help managing their benefits.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) called the rule a "back-door gun grab that would have stripped law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights without due process."

For more on that vote, click here.


Earlier in the day, the Senate also voted 54-45 to kill the Obama administration's coal mining rule. It follows a House vote Wednesday and, as The Hill's Devin Henry reported, the action gives President Trump his first chance to formally take the rule off the books.

Coal and industry groups have been looking for a way to roll back the rule requiring coal firms to clean up waste from mountaintop removal mining and prevent it from going into local waterways. 

Environmentalists and Democrats claimed the rule was needed to protect waterways and prevent health risks for people living in coal-heavy areas.

For more on the coal mining rule, click here.



President Trump will begin chipping away at the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform law in Friday's edition of the Federal Register.

--The Federal Reserve will weaken a key provision of Dodd-Frank.

The Fed will loosen the capital requirements and stress test regulations for large banks with more than $50 billion in assets.

The changes go into effect in 30 days.

--The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will consider eliminating dozens of regulations.

The FCC will conduct a 10-year review of various rules issued between 2001 and 2004 to determine whether they "should be continued without change, amended, or rescinded in order to minimize any significant impact the rules may have on a substantial number of small entities."

The public has 90 days to comment.

--The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will raise its fees.

The new fees go into effect in 30 days.



House vote to repeal Obama 'blacklisting rule' 

House strikes down mental health gun rule 

Senate votes to block Obama coal rule 

Watchdog asks court to unseal Labor nominee's divorce records

Obama's reg tab: $890B, study finds 

Dems in bind over court pick 

Lawmakers push FCC chief to boost rural broadband

Trump's federal hiring freeze could impact TSA

DHS watchdog to investigate rollout of Trump's refugee order

Dakota Access company wants some court information sealed

Treasury amends Russian sanctions to allow US tech exports

FCC chairman unveils plan to increase transparency

GOP suspends rules to push through EPA pick despite Dem boycott

Trump's highway plan may face some old roadblocks in Congress – NPR 



13: Final rules

1: Proposed rule

(Source: Federal Register)



"The costs of these $890 billion in [regulatory] burdens [from the Obama administration] must be borne by someone, and it is the American people who inevitably end up paying for these rules in some form," -- Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the business friendly American Action Forum. The group released a study Thursday that found former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaAren't delirious Democrats now accusing Team Obama of treason? Trump won't say if he'd endorse Pence in 2024 HHS restores legal meaning of 'sex' — what will US Supreme Court, Congress do? MORE issued more than $890 billion worth of regulations during his time in office.