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Overnight Regulation: Dems turn fire on Labor nominee

Overnight Regulation: Dems turn fire on Labor nominee
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Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill, the courts and beyond. It's Monday evening here in Washington and your last night to pick up something for your special someone. That's right, Valentine's Day is tomorrow. If you're flying solo, don't forget to treat yourself. 

Here's the latest. 

 

THE BIG STORY 

Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder is fresh prey for Democrats looking to block at least one of President Trump's Cabinet picks.  

Democrats came close with Education Secretary nominee Besty DeVos, but lost on a historic tie-breaking vote by Vice President Pence. Now Puzder is being viewed at their next best opportunity. 

As The Hill's Tim Devaney reported, the CEO of the fast food conglomerate that owns Hardee's and Carl Jr.'s, Puzder has several vulnerabilities. He admitted to hiring a housekeeper who was an illegal immigrant, his wife once accused him of domestic violence -- an accusation she has since retracted -- and groups have attacked the way workers are treated at his restaurants. 

Democrats are promising to raise those issues and more at Puzder's confirmation hearing scheduled for Thursday and some have already peppered the nominee with tough questions. 

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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Government watchdog to investigate allegations of Trump interference at CDC, FDA MORE (D-Mass.) on Monday sent him a 28-page letter with 83 questions that included queries about his opposition to minimum wage laws, his company's history with labor and discrimination lawsuits, and his potential conflicts of interest.

"My staff's review of your 16-year tenure as CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc., the parent company of Hardee's and Carl's Jr., reveals that you've made your fortune by squeezing the very workers you'd be charged with protecting as Labor Secretary out of wages and benefits," Warren wrote.

"Your company's record of prolific labor law abuses and discrimination suits -- the most of any major burger chain -- gives me great pause given that as Labor Secretary you'd be charged with enforcing these very laws."

She went on to ask Puzder how workers will be able to trust him to enforce laws fairly and aggressively if he still believes it's preferable to replace his workers with robots, and if he'll defend former President Obama's overtime rule in court given his public criticism of the rule expanding overtime pay to some 4 million workers.

Read the full story here

 

ON TAP FOR TUESDAY

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the internet will hold a hearing to discuss judicial transparency and ethics. 

The Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions will hold a hearing to discuss how to restore balance and fairness to the National Labor Relations Board. 

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing on self-driving cars. 

The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications will hold a hearing on the future of FEMA. 

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

Sugar beets: The EPA is allowing a certain amount of the pesticide Hexythiazox to be left in or on sugar beets and in their roots.

The agency is granting a request from the Gowan Company to allow 0.15 parts per million (ppm) of the chemical to remain in or on the sugar beet and root and 0.30 ppm to remain in dried sugar beet pulp.

Legal assistance treaties: The DOJ is issuing a final rule to delegate the central authority in carrying out agreements on criminal justice matters between the U.S. and other countries. Under the final rule tha that authority will rest with the assistant attorney general.

The DOJ said the Office of International Affairs (OIA) serves as the central authority over all requests for information and evidence received from and made to foreign authorities under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties. The OIA, though, is inundated with requests, with the office receiving 6,000 in 2016 alone. 

With only three senior leaders authorized to sign off on requests for mutual legal assistance, the agency said it's expanding its authority delegation.

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW 

PETA sues feds over animal welfare records 

Trump defends immigration policies 

Judge refuses to block work on Dakota Access pipeline 

Dems probe Trump adviser Icahn's role in ethanol policy

Sanders, Cummings hit pharma company for drug's $89K price tag

Senators plot bipartisan bill on self-driving cars

Group asks feds to pump brakes on 'driver mode' for phones

Automakers ask Trump to reconsider car emissions standards

Dems ask Trump admin to protect rule on seniors' health costs

DHS: 75 percent of those arrested in immigration raids were 'criminal aliens'

Courts likely to probe Trump's intent in issuing travel ban – Reuters 

Maryland weighs teaching 'yes means yes' as part of sex ed – The Washington Post

Washington State attorney general promises to uncover 'what truly motivated' Trump's travel ban – The Huffington Post 

 

TODAY'S REG COUNT 

4: Proposed rules 

4: Final rules  

(Source: Federal Register)

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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