Overnight Regulation: Trump administration reveals first regulatory agenda | GOP lawmakers introduce measures to repeal arbitration rule | Exxon gets $2M fine for sanctions violation

Overnight Regulation: Trump administration reveals first regulatory agenda | GOP lawmakers introduce measures to repeal arbitration rule | Exxon gets $2M fine for sanctions violation
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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 Thursday, and we're working for the weekend over here. ICYMI: Here are eight interesting tidbits from Trump's wide-ranging New York Times interview.




Here's a new glimpse into how Trump wants to rollback rules instead of creating new ones.

The Trump administration for the first time is mapping out its plans to cut down on the nation's rulebook with the release of its first regulatory agenda.

The semi-annual Unified Regulatory Agenda published by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Thursday is a policy blueprint of sorts for federal agencies.

Under the Obama administration, it focused largely on which new health and safety protections would take priority. But the Trump administration is highlighting rules it wants to scale back.

Groups express disappointment: "We are watching the American safety net unravel before our eyes," Matthew Shudtz, executive director of The Center for Progressive Reform, said in a statement.

Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legal affairs at Public Citizen, called Trump's first agenda an "anti-regulations wish list" for special interests.

OMB's reaction: In a statement, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney boasted about how much the administration has been able to cut down on regulatory red tape and improve American prosperity.


"Government is using muscles it hasn't used in a really long time, exposing and removing redundant and unnecessary regulation," he said.

Read the rest of the piece from Lydia Wheeler here.



More reg reform: Regulatory experts are pushing Senate leadership to reform the rulemaking process.

The push is, in part, coming from former administrators for the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, including Susan Dudley, John Graham and Howard Shelanski.

They joined professors and research fellows in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump's election delay red herring On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs major conservation bill into law | Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official | Trump Jr. expresses opposition to Pebble Mine project MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSchiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package Meadows: 'I'm not optimistic there will be a solution in the very near term' on coronavirus package Biden calls on Trump, Congress to enact an emergency housing program MORE (D-N.Y.) calling for legislation that requires all federal agencies to conduct rigorous cost-benefit analyses and retrospective reviews of regulations.

"While the evidence on how regulations and the economy interact is mixed, we all agree that major rules that have become obsolete or costlier than expected, over time can reduce productivity, increase costs, and lower economic output; in economic terms, this means increased deadweight loss that prevents the U.S. economy from achieving its potential," the groups wrote in the Thursday letter.

More from Lydia here.


Finance: Senate and House lawmakers introduced companion measures on Thursday to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) recently issued arbitration rule.

More than a dozen Republican senators, including most GOP members of the Senate Banking Committee, introduced a resolution Thursday morning to repeal the CFPB rule under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

GOP lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee announced that they'd introduce an identical resolution soon after. No Democrats joined either effort.

The new CFPB rule forces companies to write arbitration clauses in ways that wouldn't prevent consumers from joining class-action lawsuits. It also forces financial firms to hand over information about "initial claims and counterclaims, answers to these claims and counterclaims, and awards issued in arbitration."

Sylvan Lane has the story.


Environment: More details on the regulations rollback coming at you.

In its regulatory agenda of the Trump administration, the White House's Office of Management and Budget detailed when and how agencies plan to repeal numerous Obama administration rules regarding air and water pollution, fossil fuel extraction and more.

Many of the rollbacks had already been announced, though some new timelines or justifications were revealed.

Read more details from Timothy Cama here.



More environment: The Treasury Department on Thursday fined Exxon Mobil Corp. $2 million for violating sanctions against Russia while now-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was CEO of the company.

According to an enforcement filing from Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Exxon in 2014 signed "eight legal documents related to oil and gas projects in Russia" with Igor Sechin, the president of Rosneft, a Moscow-owned oil company. Sechin was the subject of U.S. sanctions on Russia following its incursion into Crimea.

Exxon is challenging the fine in court, saying previous government statements about the Russia sanctions implied they would be able to work with Rosneft.

Context: Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBass honored US Communist Party leader in unsurfaced remarks WNBA players wear 'Vote Warnock' shirts in support of Loeffler Democratic challenger Michelle Obama wishes Barack a happy birthday: 'My favorite guy' MORE signed an executive order establishing sanctions on Russia on March 16, 2014. The Treasury Department added Sechin to the list of people subject to those sanctions that April.

Read Devin Henry's story here.


Administration: The attorneys general of 20 states are urging Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to keep in place protections for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses that were implemented under former President Barack Obama.


In a letter, the attorneys general stress to DeVos the importance of keeping the protections in place, saying that the Department of Education's approach could signal to victims of sexual assault that they aren't committed to "combat this epidemic."

"While we recognize that there is a great deal more that can be done to protect students and agree on the importance of ensuring that investigations are conducted fairly, a rushed, poorly-considered effort to roll back current policies sends precisely the wrong message to all students," the letter reads. "Yet there is every indication that is exactly the approach your Department is taking."

Here's the full story from Brandon Carter.


Technology: The Supreme Court is giving the cable industry more time to appeal a lower court decision upholding the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules.

Industry groups had asked the nation's highest court for a 60-day extension because the FCC is currently moving to repeal the rules, which require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally.

Among the groups that filed for the extension were USTelecom, the Internet and Television Association, CTIA, the American Cable Association and AT&T. The groups originally had until July 30 to ask the Supreme Court for a review. That deadline is now Sept. 28.

Harper Neidig has the report.


More tech: FCC says it can't provide more proof of claimed cyberattack.  

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it cannot provide more information proving that it was the victim of a cyberattack in May.

The agency's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) went down shortly after comedian John Oliver told viewers to file comments in favor of net neutrality in a segment on his HBO show "Last Week Tonight."

The FCC claimed at the time that the website did not crash because of the large amount of traffic Oliver generated, but was instead the result of a Distributed Denial of Service Attack. An FCC official cited an "analysis" that lead the agency to that conclusion.

Tech website Gizmodo filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the FCC analysis of the attack.

But in their response, the agency said there was no "written" analysis of the May 8 attack.

"The analysis referred to stemmed from real time observation and feedback by Commission IT staff and did not result in written documentation," the FCC said.

Ali Breland has the rundown.


Energy: Senate to Trump: You can't cut the Energy Department.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $38.4 billion spending bill for the Department of Energy and water programs.

The 30-1 vote rejected numerous proposals by President Trump that would have slashed programs that have bipartisan support. The $38.4 billion total passed by the committee is $4 billion more than Trump's budget proposal.

The bill would fund the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy at $330 million, a record high funding level for an agency that Trump had proposed eliminating completely.

More from Tim here.


Russia sanctions: Lawmakers are getting closer to a deal.

Bipartisan negotiators involved in finalizing legislation to impose sanctions on Russia expressed confidence on Thursday that a deal could be reached soon after a monthlong delay.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) have been leading discussions to resolve the impasse that has stemmed from procedural spats — as well as policy objections from the Trump administration and oil and gas companies.

Hoyer said during an exchange on the House floor with McCarthy on Thursday that they had been working "very hard on that, very constructively on that."

Cristina Marcos breaks it down here.



FTC probing allegations of Amazon's deceptive discounting (Reuters)

Trump lifted the cap on H-2B worker visas. Then his businesses asked for 76 of them. (Vox)

U.S. rule on class-action suits against banks under fire in Congress (Reuters)

EU court to rule on 'right to be forgotten' outside Europe (The Wall Street Journal)

With Dodd-Frank at Risk, Now It's Russia's Turn to Worry About Trump (Bloomberg)

Send tips, story ideas and haikus to rroubein@thehill.com and follow me on Twitter @rachel_roubein.