Overnight Regulation: Banks dig in for long fight over Dodd-Frank | Senate bill would tighten ad rules to curb electing meddling | Former regulators criticize Perry coal plan | Trump taps new FTC chief

Overnight Regulation: Banks dig in for long fight over Dodd-Frank | Senate bill would tighten ad rules to curb electing meddling | Former regulators criticize Perry coal plan | Trump taps new FTC chief
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Welcome to Overnight Regulations, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill and the courts. It's Thursday evening here in Washington where the Senate is in the midst of a marathon voting session – known as a vote-a-rama – on the 2018 budget. 

Live coverage here

 

THE BIG STORY 

U.S. banks and financial services companies are digging in for a long fight over the Dodd-Frank Act, the Obama-era banking regulation bill.

As The Hill's Sylvan Lane reports, Republicans lack the votes in the Senate to fulfill President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' MORE's campaign promise to "dismantle" the law, forcing industry to seek smaller wins. 

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Trump-appointed financial regulators have made some moves to ease Dodd-Frank rules and lawmakers could pass bipartisan legislation this year to ease the regulatory burden on mid-sized bank. 

But financial services lobbyists and Capitol Hill aides say more significant progress on Dodd-Frank could reach well beyond next year's midterm elections.

"Companies are starting to tamp down their expectations on what really can get done," said the former Senate aide.  

When Republican leaders set their 2017 agenda in January, they aimed to enact a major bill to roll back Dodd-Frank sometime in the fall. The GOP planned to have repealed and replaced the Affordable Care Act and passed a major tax overhaul soon after this summer.

Trump also promised during his campaign to take apart Dodd-Frank, even though the finance industry said the law needed to be adjusted, not destroyed.

Few on Capitol Hill or K Street expect Republicans to pass a revamp of Dodd-Frank. The CHOICE Act, a sweeping bill to rein in much of the law, passed the House in June but isn't expected to see Senate action. 

But the industry is still optimistic that there will be significant regulatory changes from the administration now that Trump officials are settling into key roles.

Read the rest of the story here

 

REG ROUNDUP 

Tech: Bipartisan legislation to boost social media ad transparency and curb foreign influence in elections was introduced Thursday, the latest congressional response to the role of Russian hackers using Facebook and other social media to influence the 2016 election.

Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharNew York Times editor: Warren, Klobuchar endorsement reflects 'extremely divided' Democratic Party Biden leads Democratic primary field in Iowa: poll Bloomberg says he would vote to convict Trump if he were a senator MORE (D-Minn.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHillicon Valley: Apple, Barr clash over Pensacola shooter's phone | Senate bill would boost Huawei alternatives | DHS orders agencies to fix Microsoft vulnerability | Chrome to phase out tracking cookies Senators offer bill to create alternatives to Huawei in 5G tech Sen. Warner calls on State Department to take measures to protect against cyberattacks MORE (D-Va.), along with Republican Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMartha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Meghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials MORE (Ariz.), are supporting the bill, which aims to put social media companies on par with radio and TV in their disclosure requirements.

The proposed legislation will affect websites, apps, search engines, social media and ad networks with over 50 million unique visitors.

Such platforms would be required to provide data on campaigns that spend at least $500 on political ads a year. Necessary information would include copies of ads, information about groups purchasing ads and data on who the ads may have targeted.

Ali Breland has the story here

 

Health care: Nineteen Senate Democrats have signed on to a bill that would reverse the Trump administration's new exemption for ObamaCare's birth control mandate.

The administration recently announced it will allow most employers to stop providing birth control coverage in their insurance plans if they have moral or religious objections. 

Jessie Hellman has the story here

 

Transportation: A bipartisan pair of senators has introduced legislation that would allow airlines to more easily access the driving records of prospective pilots. 

Bill sponsors Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy Duckworth Democratic senator asks for meeting with Amtrak head over alleged disability discrimination Democrats request briefing on intel behind Trump's embassy threat claim Duckworth slams Collins's comments: 'I left parts of my body in Iraq fighting terrorists' MORE (D-Ill.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) say the measure would not only improve airplane safety for pilots and passengers, but could also speed up the hiring process at a time when the industry is facing a pilot shortage.

Melanie Zanona has the story here

 

Energy: A bipartisan group of eight former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) members sent a letter Thursday criticizing a proposal to prop up coal and nuclear power plants.

The commissioners, five of whom are past FERC chairmen, said that while ensuring a resilient electric grid is a laudable goal, Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerrySunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Overnight Energy: Appeals court tosses kids' climate suit | California sues Trump over fracking | Oversight finds EPA appointees slow-walked ethics obligations MORE's proposal to give coal and nuclear plants higher payments is not the right way to do it.

Read Timothy Cama's story here

 

Courts: The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance the nomination of a controversial judicial nominee who has been opposed by civil rights groups.

In an 11-9 vote, the panel sent Thomas Farr's nomination to a seat on the federal District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina to the Senate floor for a vote.

An attorney in private practice and currently a shareholder in the Raleigh office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., Farr has represented state Republican leadership in redistricting and voting rights cases.

Read the full story here

 

Health care: President Trump on Thursday indicated an openness to a bipartisan short-term ObamaCare stabilization deal introduced in the Senate.

"We will probably like a very short-term solution until we hit the block grants," Trump said. "If they can do something like that, I'm open to it."

Nathaniel Weixel has the story here

 

Tech: President Trump will nominate antitrust attorney Joseph Simons for chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, a White House spokeswoman confirmed.

Simons is a partner and co-chairman of the antitrust department at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He would replace Maureen Ohlhausen, a Republican commissioner who has been serving as acting chairman since January.

Trump will also nominate Rohit Chopra and Noah Phillips to fill the remaining Democratic and Republican commission seats respectively.

Harper Neidig has more on the nominees here.

 

Transportation: A House Democrat is urging the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to crack down on hot air balloon operations following a deadly crash in Texas last year.

Federal investigators determined this week that the 2016 crash, which was the deadliest hot air balloon crash in U.S. history, was caused by the pilot's poor decisionmaking, his medical conditions and medications, and a lack of federal oversight over commercial air balloon operations.

Rep. Lloyd DoggettLloyd Alton DoggettGreen says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely Appeals court strikes ObamaCare mandate, sends case back to lower court House passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices MORE (D-Texas), who represents the district where the crash occurred, has been pushing the FAA to strengthen its hot air balloon laws and require that pilots get medical certificates before they are allowed to operate a hot air balloon.

Melanie Zanona has more here.

 

Cybersecurity: The federal entity responsible for regulating the energy sector on Thursday proposed new rules to enhance the cybersecurity of the U.S. electric grid, including those aimed at addressing risks posed by malware. 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) outlined new proposed security management controls for operators of electric grid systems aimed at enhancing "the reliability and resilience of the nation's bulk electric systems," according to a release

"These include mandatory controls to address the risks posed by malware from transient electronic devices like laptop computers, thumb drives and other devices used at low-impact bulk electric system cyber systems," the commission said. 

There have been increased concerns about cyber threats to the U.S. electric grid in the wake of successful attacks that took down portions of Ukraine's in 2015 and 2016.

Morgan Chalfant has more here.

 

IN OTHER NEWS 

Deal on North Carolina bathroom law would expand transgender protections –The New York Times 

3 million Americans carry loaded handguns with them every single day, study finds –The Washington Post 

A detained 17-year-old immigrant wants an abortion. The government went to court to stop her. – Vox 

How Congress deals with sexual harassment in the workplace – RollCall