Overnight Regulation: Massachusetts AG sues Equifax | Trump weighs easing rules on gun exports | EPA nominee to fight worker safety rule in court

Overnight Regulation: Massachusetts AG sues Equifax | Trump weighs easing rules on gun exports | EPA nominee to fight worker safety rule in court
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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 Tuesday evening, and we're having serious déjà vu over in the health care world. Here's our newest ObamaCare repeal whip list. And here is a look at the risk and rewards of Republicans taking a vote on repeal without a CBO score.



The Massachusetts attorney general is suing Equifax after the hack that impacted as many as 140 million Americans.

Maura Healey filed suit against Equifax on Tuesday, alleging that the credit reporting company ignored obvious cybersecurity vulnerabilities for months before hackers accessed people's personal information.

Healey, a Democrat, said Equifax "utterly failed to keep the personal information of nearly three million Massachusetts residents safe from hackers" and waited too long to disclose the hack.


"We are suing because Equifax needs to pay for its mistakes, make our residents whole, and fix the problem so it never happens again," Healey said.

What the suit is seeking: Restitution for the 3 million Massachusetts residents whose information was exposed to hackers between May and July of this year, along with legal protection from fraud resulting from the hack. The suit also seeks to strip Equifax of corporate profits from the time of the hack.

Not the only one... Healey is one of several state attorneys general seeking action against Equifax. Her New York counterpart, fellow Democrat Eric Schneiderman, launched an investigation into the company last week. Both are considered rising stars in the Democratic Party and potential gubernatorial or Senate candidates.

Sylvan Lane has the story.



Firearms: The Trump administration is reportedly planning to ease rules on American manufacturers selling small guns and assault rifles to buyers overseas.

An administration official confirmed to The Hill that the State Department is working to move the U.S. government's authorization of exports of already commercially available, nonmilitary firearms and ammunition to the Commerce Department's jurisdiction, and keeping exports of military grade items under State Department jurisdiction.

Administration officials told Reuters that the proposed rule change, headed to the White House budget office in the coming days, would cut regulatory red tape, boost U.S. gun exports and create jobs.

Democratic Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinPPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  Congress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help Senate passes extension of application deadline for PPP small-business loans MORE (Md.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinMcConnell says Trump nominee to replace Ginsburg will get Senate vote Top Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence Intensifying natural disasters do little to move needle on climate efforts MORE (Calif.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyBattle over timing complicates Democratic shutdown strategy Hillicon Valley: Russia 'amplifying' concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election | Facebook and Twitter take steps to limit Trump remarks on voting | Facebook to block political ads ahead of election Top Democrats press Trump to sanction Russian individuals over 2020 election interference efforts MORE (Vt.) sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonGary Cohn: 'I haven't made up my mind' on vote for president in November Kushner says 'Alice in Wonderland' describes Trump presidency: Woodward book Conspicuous by their absence from the Republican Convention MORE on Friday asking him not to make changes to International Trafficking in Arms regulations for small arms, light weapons and associated equipment and ammunition without carefully considering the consequences.

The Hill's Lydia Wheeler has more here.


Environment: President Trump's EPA nominee is fighting a worker safety rule in court.

President Trump's pick to lead air and radiation policy at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is slated to argue on behalf of industry groups in a federal court of appeals next week against an Obama-era rule protecting workers from being exposed to harmful silica dust.

As first reported by Politico, William Wehrum, a partner at Hunton & Williams, confirmed in a court filing Tuesday that he is arguing on behalf of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association and the Brick Industry Association against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) silica dust rule.

Read Lydia Wheeler's piece here.


Energy: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted Tuesday to approve five of President Trump's nominees for energy positions in the federal government.

Senators voted to easily approve Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick to be Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) members, Ryan Nelson to be the Interior Department's solicitor, Joseph Balash to be Interior's assistant secretary for land and mineral management and David Jonas to be general counsel at the Energy Department

The votes from the committee, led by Chairwoman Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Collins: President elected Nov. 3 should fill Supreme Court vacancy Barrett seen as a front-runner for Trump Supreme Court pick MORE (R-Alaska), send all of the nominees to the full Senate for a confirmation vote, which has not yet been scheduled.

Timothy Cama reports.


Environment: French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated Tuesday that the Paris climate agreement "will not be renegotiated," despite calls to do so from the Trump administration.

Macron during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly defended the 2015 climate accord, saying "we won't go back" on the agreement.

The French president added that he "respects" Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the climate deal unless he can get a better deal.

Background: Trump in June said he would pull the U.S. out of the deal, which envisions a 26 percent to 28 percent reduction in the country's greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. He opened the door to redoing the deal, though many world leaders have rejected that proposal.

Devin Henry has the story.


More environment: President Trump is not backing down on his decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittJuan Williams: Swamp creature at the White House Science protections must be enforceable Conspicuous by their absence from the Republican Convention MORE said Tuesday that Trump has been "steadfast" in his decision, arguing that the deal is ultimately unfair to the U.S.

"The president has been steadfast, and I'd say the courage it took to stand in the Rose Garden in June and say to the world that he was going to put America's interest first and not be apologetic to the rest of the world," Pruitt said on "Fox & Friends."

Pruitt's comments came after The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that the Trump administration was reversing its stance on the 195-nation climate accord.

The White House immediately pushed back on that report, saying the president remained firm on his decision to withdraw from the compact.

Read the rest of Max Greenwood's piece here.


Transportation: Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneWhat Senate Republicans have said about election-year Supreme Court vacancies The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccine, masks MORE (R-S.D.) says the House has to act first on a short-term aviation bill, but he hopes the lower chamber passes legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for as long as six months.

"The House will move one first because of the tax title ... I'm hoping they will send us a six-month extension," Thune, chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, told reporters Tuesday. "We'll see what they decide to do with it over there and then obviously we'll process it over here."

The FAA's legal authority expires at the end of the month, but long-term bills to reauthorize the agency are stalled in both chambers.

Action needed: Now lawmakers will have to enact a short-term patch by the end of next week. House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) told The Hill last week that he wants the extension to last through 2017.

Read the rest of Melanie Zanona's story.


And even more environment: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said Tuesday his "red team-blue team" review of climate change science could take months to complete once it eventually kicks off.

Pruitt first raised the idea of a "back-and-forth critique" of the scientific consensus on climate change in June. The EPA plans to recruit scientists to take different positions on climate science and then debate the issue.

Speaking at the Concordia Summit in New York, Pruitt said details of the climate change debate are still under discussion, but he said he anticipates it being a government-wide effort involving the EPA, the Energy Department and other agencies.

Devin with the story again.



State Department tightens rules for visas to US (The New York Times)

Walgreens gets regulatory nod for slimmed-down Rite Aid deal (Reuters)

China widens bitcoin crackdown beyond commercial trading (The Wall Street Journal)

Too little, too late? China can't seem to get a grip on fintech regulation (The Wall Street Journal)

Send tips, story ideas and all the health care (and regs) news to rroubein@thehill.com and follow me on Twitter @rachel_roubein.