Overnight Regulation: Supreme Court cancels travel ban arguments | Exxon aims to cut methane emissions | Uber chief vows to appeal London ban | SEC under fire for hack | Fight erupts over pilot training rules

Overnight Regulation: Supreme Court cancels travel ban arguments | Exxon aims to cut methane emissions | Uber chief vows to appeal London ban | SEC under fire for hack | Fight erupts over pilot training rules
© Greg Nash

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill, the courts and beyond. It's Monday evening, and Congress is in town for an action-packed week that will determine the fate of Republicans' last-ditch effort to repeal ObamaCare, and see GOP leaders unveil their outline for tax reform.

 

THE BIG STORY: Supreme Court cancels travel ban arguments

The Supreme Court on Monday canceled arguments on President Trump's travel ban and ordered the parties to file additional briefs arguing whether their cases are now moot following Trump's new targeted restrictions on nationals from eight countries.

The court released an order announcing that it had removed the cases challenging Trump's original ban from its argument calendar until further notice. The cases were scheduled to be heard on Oct. 10.

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The court directed the parties in the case to file briefs by Oct. 5.

On Sunday, Trump issued targeted restrictions on nationals from eight countries - Chad, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.

Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia were covered by Trump's previous 90-day ban, which expired Sunday, in addition to Sudan. Sudan was the only country that was removed following what the administration called a "worldwide review" of the information collected from foreign countries to adequately assess whether someone poses a security or safety threat.

Trump's previous order also suspended the entry of most refugees for 120 days, a provision that expires at the end of October.

Lydia Wheeler has the details here.

The Hill's Melanie Zanona also breaks down the new ban. Here are five things to know about the new order.

 

ON TAP FOR TUESDAY

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen delivers an address at the National Association for Business Economics.

The Senate Banking Committee holds an oversight hearing for the Securities and Exchange Commission at 10 a.m. Expect SEC Chairman Jay Clayton to field questions about the recently disclosed hack of the agency's EDGAR financial database.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on "Special counsels and the separation of powers." at 10 a.m.

The Senate Commerce Committee holds a hearing on the Federal Trade Commission and how it handles consumer protection cases at 2:30 p.m.

The Atlantic and Aspen Institute Washington Ideas forum kicks off.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment holds a hearing on water infrastructure at 10 a.m.

The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing on two Energy Department nominees at 10 a.m.

 

REG ROUNDUP

Energy: Exxon Mobil Corp. is rolling out a new program to cut methane emissions at its oil and natural gas drilling operations.

The moves at Exxon come as the Trump administration works to dismantle aggressive methane-reduction regulations that were written by the Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department but opposed by much of the oil and gas industry.

Methane is the main component of natural gas, and a greenhouse gas as much as 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide by volume.

Read more here.

 

Transportation: House Democratic leaders are urging their rank-and-file to oppose fast-track approval of a package to extend the authorization for the Federal Aviation Administration and provide tax breaks for hurricane victims, making it likely a Monday vote on the package will fail.

The House is scheduled to consider a six-month extension for aviation programs with attached provisions to offer tax relief for people recovering from recent hurricanes, renew certain expiring health-care programs and encourage flood insurance reform.

Despite supporting reauthorization for the FAA, Democrats said that the package was crafted without their input.

Read more here

 

Finance: Financial services giant AIG will restructure its business and shut down its consumer and commercial divisions as it attempts to shed stricter federal oversight.

AIG will divide its operations into general insurance, life and retirement planning and a tech platform while dropping two major finance units, the company announced Monday.

The general insurance division will include commercial, personal insurance, and U.S. and international field operations, while the life and retirement side will include group retirement plans, individual retirement plans, life insurance, and institutional markets.

The company expects to update its financial reporting and disclosures following the changes, which come amid AIG's push to lose the "systemically important financial institution" (SIFI) label that was largely inspired the company.

SIFIs are subjected to stricter federal oversight and capital requirements through the Dodd-Frank Act, the sweeping banking laws passed after the financial crisis. AIG's near-bankruptcy following the panic was one of several factors that prompted lawmakers to ramp up oversight of major banks and financial firms.

Any bank with more than $50 billion in assets is automatically considered a SIFI, and the interagency Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) can label non-banks as SIFIs.

Read more here

 

Tech: A prominent civil rights attorney is accusing AT&T of discriminating against low-income minority communities within Detroit in a complaint filed with the Federal Communications Commission on Monday.

The complaint is the second in as many months from Daryl Parks, a lawyer known for having represented the family of Trayvon Martin after the black 17-year-old was killed by George Zimmerman in 2012. Last month, Parks filed a similar complaint against AT&T on behalf of Cleveland residents.

Both filings accuse the telecommunications giant of withholding quality internet service from minority neighborhoods with high poverty rates.

The Monday complaint alleges that AT&T is responsible for a "pattern of long-term, systematic failure to invest in the infrastructure required to provide equitable, mainstream Internet access to residents of the central city (compared to the suburbs) and to lower-income city neighborhoods."

Asked for comment, an AT&T spokesman referred to a statement the company put out in response to the August complaint.

"We do not redline," Joan Marsh, AT&T's chief regulatory and external affairs officer, said in the statement. "Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is unparalleled. Our investment decisions are based on the cost of deployment and demand for our services and are of course fully compliant with the requirements of the Communications Act. We will vigorously defend the complaint filed today."

Read more here

 

More tech: Late-night host John Oliver railed against the planned AT&T-Time Warner merger during his HBO show "Last Week Tonight" on Sunday.

Oliver took shots at the telecom company and others taking part in big mergers across markets, which he said harms innovation and consumers.

"Even our own company, Time-Warner, is trying to merge with AT&T, which makes this story a little dangerous to do. That is presuming AT&T executives get their shitty service working long enough to see it," Oliver joked.

Read more here.

 

Energy: A solar panel manufacturer petitioning the government for relief against cheap imports is promising to hire up to 200 workers following a win before the United States trade board last week.

SolarWorld Americas Inc. said Monday it would increase production and hire more workers by May amid a new debate over potential tariffs on foreign imports of solar panels.

SolarWorld and Suniva Inc. had asked the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to consider whether cheap imports of solar panels from countries like China had undercut the two U.S. producers.

The ITC voted 4-0 on Friday in the manufacturers' favor, and the board will soon submit potential remedies, including tariffs, to the White House for consideration.

Read more here.

 

Transportation: Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi apologized to London residents and vowed an appeal after the city's transportation authorities decided not to renew the company's license.

"While Uber has revolutionised the way people move in cities around the world it's equally true that we've got things wrong along the way," Khosrowshahi wrote in an open letter published by the Evening Standard. "On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologise for the mistakes we've made.

"We will appeal this decision on behalf of millions of Londoners, but we do so with the knowledge that we must also change," the letter continued. "As Uber's new CEO, it is my job to help Uber write its next chapter."

Read more here

 

More transportation: A controversial push to change the training requirements for pilots is gaining speed under the Trump administration.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) panel recommended last week that the government cut back dozens of aviation regulations, while a top Senate Republican is leading a charge to ease pilot training requirements. The industry has long pushed for some of the rule changes.

But safety advocates are sounding the alarm, fearing the changes could make the skies less safe. They attribute the country's airline safety record to heavy federal oversight.

"Regulations work in aviation matters," said Steve Marks, an aviation attorney for Podhurst Orseck who has represented plane crash victims and their families. "There is no reason to drop the flight-training requirement. You're just going to see less experienced pilots put in emergency situations."

At the center of the fight is a rule regarding the minimum training requirements for commercial pilots.

The Hill's Melanie Zanona explains here

 

Cybersecurity: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is coming under fire in Washington after revealing a data breach that may have allowed hackers to profit from stolen insider information.

Jay Clayton, the SEC's new chairman, revealed late Wednesday that hackers breached its EDGAR corporate filing system last year by exploiting a software vulnerability. The incident was detected in 2016 but only recently found to have potentially provided a basis for illicit trading gains.

The breach, revealed less than two weeks after the massive breach of credit reporting firm Equifax, generated immediate scrutiny on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers warned of growing cyber threats to the financial industry, long a top target of hackers.

"The risks from cyber breaches continue to threaten consumers and our financial markets," Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death Emboldened Democrats haggle over 2021 agenda 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 MORE (D-Ohio) told The Hill on Friday. "We expect corporations that hold sensitive data to disclose information about breaches as soon as possible, and the SEC is no different."

The SEC intrusion has created an early test for Clayton, who was confirmed to his post in May.

Clayton will testify Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee, on which Brown serves as the top Democrat, giving lawmakers a prime opportunity to question him about the beach.

Read more here.

 

ALSO IN THE NEWS

The Hill: Supreme Court to weigh free speech, discrimination in wedding cake case

The Hill: Green, industry groups file appeals to save EPA greenhouse gas rule

The New York Times: Regulator wants financial industry to self-report wrongdoing

Reuters: UK regulator wants derivatives deal to avert Brexit 'cliff edge'

The Wall Street Journal: After Equifax, should the government force companies to report hacks?

   

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