Overnight Regulation: EPA begins to repeal major Obama climate rule | Bipartisan bill would ban gun bump stocks | FEC seeks input on rules for online political ads

Overnight Regulation: EPA begins to repeal major Obama climate rule | Bipartisan bill would ban gun bump stocks | FEC seeks input on rules for online political ads
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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, the House is back in session and President Trump is ratcheting up his feud with Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerHas Congress captured Russia policy? Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans Cheney clashes with Trump MORE (R-Tenn.).



It's official: The Trump administration formally proposed scrapping the Obama administration's signature climate change rule for power plants.

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 signed the notice Tuesday, arguing that former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Warning signs flash for Lindsey Graham in South Carolina Majority of voters say Trump should not nominate a Supreme Court justice: poll MORE's 2015 rule, dubbed the Clean Power Plan, exceeds the agency's authority under the Clean Air Act.

He previewed the action Monday at a coal equipment business in Kentucky, calling it the end of the "war on coal."


The action formally starts work on a top campaign promise from President Trump, delivering a win to fossil fuel companies, business groups and Republicans -- including Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general -- who fought the climate plan from the start.

The rollback will spark a new battle.

Environmentalists and Democrats have pledged to fight it, and at least two Democratic state attorneys general have promised to sue the EPA to preserve the rule.

The Hill's Timothy Cama reports.

The process of unwinding the rolls could take a long time, potentially years, with court battles likely. Timothy Cama has more here on the next steps in the repeal fight.



The Hill is hosting "Cracking the Tax Code: Prospects for Reform," featuring Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.). Details here.

The House Agriculture Committee holds a hearing on the agenda for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Agency Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo will testify.

The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a markup on legislation to reform the Antiquities Act.

The house Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing on changing how revenues from oil and gas leasing are distributed under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

A House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hear testimony on combating the nation's opioid epidemic.

The House Financial Services Committee is marking up 23 bills.



Guns: A bipartisan pair of lawmakers unveiled legislation on Tuesday to ban a device used by the suspected gunman in the Las Vegas massacre to make semi-automatic weapons fire shots more rapidly.

The bill, authored by Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), would prohibit the manufacture, sale and use of the devices, known as "bump stocks," or anything similar that is designed to increase the rate of fire but doesn't convert a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic weapon.

"This common-sense legislation will ban devices that blatantly circumvent already existing law without restricting Second Amendment rights," Curbelo, a centrist who is one of Democrats' top targets in 2018, said in a statement.

Context: The legislation is the first gun control proposal offered by a Republican following the massacre in Las Vegas last week, which was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history with nearly 60 deaths and more than 500 wounded. Law enforcement authorities found that the Las Vegas shooter had 12 bump stocks attached to rifles in his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay resort.

Read more from Cristina Marcos.


Energy: The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to consider an appeal from a former coal boss convicted for conspiring to break federal mine safety standards.

Don Blankenship, who was CEO of Massey Energy Co., was convicted in 2015 on charges stemming from the investigation into the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster, which killed 29 miners in West Virginia.

He was later sentenced to one year in prison, which he completed earlier this year.

More from Timothy Cama.


Health care: Washington's attorney general announced Monday he would sue President Trump's administration over its rollback of an ObamaCare requirement that employers include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans.

"President Trump's contraception rules are unfair, unlawful, and unconstitutional," Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) said in a statement. "I refuse to let President Trump disregard our laws and our constitution in an effort to deny women access to contraception."

Ferguson says the new rules, announced last week by Trump administration officials, violate the First Amendment by "requiring individuals to bear the burdens of religions to which they do not belong," as well as the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Brandon Carter reports.


Tech: The United Kingdom is looking at Facebook and Google's role in news and what that could mean in terms of more regulation.

"We are looking at the role Google and Facebook play in the news environment," a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday, according to Reuters. "As part of that work we will look carefully at the roles, responsibility and legal status of the major internet platforms."

Following recent terror attacks, May has criticized internet companies for not doing more to prevent terrorists from using their platforms to organize and communicate. May has also floated regulating the internet.

Get the story from Ali Breland.


Elections: The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is asking for public input on its disclosure rules for online political advertisements, as companies like Facebook and Google are being scrutinized by investigators for ads they ran during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The FEC announced on Tuesday that they would be reopening the public comment period on the rules nearly a year after the last time they sought public input on the disclosure requirement.

"In light of developments since the close of the last comment period, the Commission is reopening the comment period once again to consider disclaimer requirements as applied to certain internet communications," the announcement reads.

The move comes as some lawmakers are pressing for tighter disclosure requirements in the wake of Facebook's revelation that it had uncovered 3,000 political ads purchased by Russian actors.

Harper Neidig has more.


Tech: Russia looked poised for a crackdown on cryptocurrencies Tuesday, after Russian President Vladimir Putin called cryptocurrencies risky and the country's central bank said it would block websites selling bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Russia's decision to clamp down on digital currencies comes one month after Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that he would move to regulate bitcoin use.

Ali Breland explains here.


Health care: Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, considered a possible candidate to be President Trump's next health secretary, said Tuesday he thinks he can be "most effective" in his current role.

"I feel like I want to continue to follow through on the policies we've put out and it's where I think I can be most effective," Gottlieb told Reuters in an interview.

But Gottlieb did not rule out moving up to the Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary position, declining to say whether he has been in talks about the job.

Peter Sullivan has the story.



U.S. top court asks Justice Department for views in Apple antitrust case (Reuters)

FAA panel splits on drone tracking requirements (The Wall Street Journal)

Supreme Court turns down Guantanamo detainee's appeal (The Washington Post)


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