Overnight Regulation: National security review delays bid for Qualcomm | Trump to consider elephant trophy imports 'case by case' | Arkansas Medicaid work rules approved | More companies sue to save net neutrality

Overnight Regulation: National security review delays bid for Qualcomm | Trump to consider elephant trophy imports 'case by case' | Arkansas Medicaid work rules approved | More companies sue to save net neutrality

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill, the courts and beyond. It's Monday evening, both the House and Senate are in session, and President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE is vowing not to back down over steel tariffs.



National security review delays bid for Qualcomm

U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm is delaying a major shareholder meeting this week so federal regulators can review whether a hostile takeover bid from foreign technology giant Broadcom poses a national security threat.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) urged Qualcomm on Sunday to postpone its annual stockholders meeting and election of its board of directors by at least 30 days to allow for the review of the deal.


It's the latest twist in the months-long fight between the two companies, as Qualcomm tries to fight off Singapore-based Broadcom's takeover bid. If the deal goes through, it would be the largest tech acquisition in history.

The CFIUS is an inter-agency panel chaired by Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinFive takeaways from PPP loan data On The Money: Trump administration releases PPP loan data | Congress gears up for battle over expiring unemployment benefits | McConnell opens door to direct payments in next coronavirus bill 40 Trump-connected lobbyists secured over B in coronavirus relief for clients: report MORE and comprised of Cabinet officials from the Justice Department and State Department, among others. The committee is tasked with investigating the national security implications of foreign bids for American businesses.

CFIUS has ramped up its scrutiny of potential foreign forays into the U.S. market in recent months, but such an overt intervention is unusual for the panel.

Broadcom said in a statement Monday morning that it learned Qualcomm had secretly filed a complaint with CFIUS asking for the review. It accused the company of seeking to "disenfranchise its own stockholders."

In its own statement, Qualcomm called Broadcom's response "a continuation of its now familiar pattern of deliberately seeking to mislead shareholders and the general public by using rhetoric rather than substance to trivialize and ignore serious regulatory and national security issues."

The Qualcomm review comes as regulators have stepped up their scrutiny of foreign overtures into the U.S. market, with Chinese tech moves drawing the biggest concerns.

Read Harper Neidig's full story here.


Trump to consider elephant trophy imports 'case-by-case'

The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced last week that it will now consider all permits for importing elephant trophies from African nations on a "case-by-case basis," breaking from President Trump's earlier promises to maintain an Obama-era ban on the practice.

In a formal memorandum issued last Thursday, FWS said it will withdraw its 2017 Endangered Species Act (ESA) findings for trophies of African elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia, "effective immediately."

The memo said "the findings are no longer effective for making individual permit determinations for imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies."

In its place, FWS will instead "grant or deny permits to import a sport-hunted trophy on a case-by-case basis."

FWS said it will still consider the information included in the ESA findings, as well as science-based risk assessments of the species' vulnerability, when evaluating each permit request.

The service also announced it is withdrawing a number of previous ESA findings, which date back to 1995, related to trophies of African elephants, bontebok and lions from multiple African countries.

The decision to withdraw the FSW findings followed a D.C. Circuit Court decision in December that found fault with the initial Obama-era rule, which banned importing elephant hunting trophies from Zimbabwe.

Read more from Miranda Green here.



Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaAppeals court finds prosecutors' secret plea agreement with Epstein didn't break law Florida sheriff ends work release program criticized over Jeffery Epstein The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by National Association of Manufacturers — Whistleblower complaint roils Washington MORE testifies at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on President Trump's budget request.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Trump's budget request.

A House Small Business subcommittee holds a hearing on expanding rural broadband and the role of small internet service providers.

Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan Chao40 Trump-connected lobbyists secured over B in coronavirus relief for clients: report Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Sanders calls for social distancing, masks and disinfection on planes as flights operate at full capacity MORE testifies before the House Transportation Committee on Trump's infrastructure proposal.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology holds an oversight hearing on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. NTIA chief David Redl will testify.

The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on protecting e-consumers from counterfeits. Lawmakers will hear from officials from the Government Accountability Office, Customs and Border Protection, and Consumer Product Safety Commission.



Health care: Arkansas on Monday became the third state to get the Trump administration's permission to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved a Medicaid waiver that included a requirement for recipients to work, or participate in job training or job search activities for 80 hours a month.

Arkansas officials said they will begin implementing the work requirements on June 1, making them the first state to do so. If a person fails to meet the requirements for three months, he or she will lose coverage for the rest of that calendar year.

However, the state did not get approval to roll back the eligibility level for Medicaid beneficiaries. If that provision had been approved, an estimated 60,000 people would have lost coverage.

Arkansas expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare to people earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, and receives federal funding to pay for those new enrollees.

Nathaniel Weixel has the story.


Tech: Six technology companies, including Kickstarter, Foursquare and Etsy, have launched a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in an effort to preserve net neutrality rules.

The companies, which also include Shutterstock, Expa and Automattic, on Monday filed their petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

"Already, over 30,000 Etsy sellers participated in the FCC's public comment process, and tens of thousands more reached out to Congress in support of net neutrality. Now we're bringing their stories and experiences to the courts," said Althea Erickson, head of advocacy and impact at Etsy.

The companies join Vimeo and Mozilla, as well as several state attorneys general who have also filed lawsuits against the FCC in support of the net neutrality rules.

Ali Breland has more.


Health care: President Trump's health secretary on Monday warned hospital executives about soaring health care costs, telling them change is coming.

Speaking at the Federation of American Hospitals convention in D.C., Health Secretary Alex Azar laid out actions the administration will take aimed at lowering health care costs, and said they wouldn't be deterred by powerful special interests.

"Today is an opportunity to let everyone know that we take these shifts seriously, and they're going to happen -- one way or another," Azar said.

"The administration and this president are not interested in incremental steps. We are unafraid of disrupting existing arrangements simply because they're backed by powerful special interests."

The administration will make it easier for patients to access their health records, encourage providers to be more transparent about the costs of procedures and services and remove regulations that "impede" innovation. HHS will also "experiment" with payment models in Medicare and Medicaid to "drive value and quality," he said.

More from Jessie Hellmann here.


Finance: President Trump's lawyer's $130,000 wire payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election was flagged as suspicious by his bank and reported to the Treasury Department, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. 

First Republic Bank flagged the transaction after Michael Cohen wired money to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, as part of a reported nondisclosure agreement regarding her alleged affair with Trump years earlier.

Cohen last month acknowledged that he made the payment, and denied it violated any campaign finance laws.

Cohen was allegedly working to secure a deal with Clifford's representatives in October 2016, but was unable to make contact with Trump about the payment. As a result, he used his own funds to wire money to Clifford's lawyer.

Brett Samuels has more on the report here.


Health care: A federal judge has ordered former drug company CEO Martin Shkreli to forfeit $7.36 million in assets, Reuters reported Monday.

Those assets could include a Picasso painting and a single-copy Wu-Tang Clan album Shkreli won at auction.

Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said that Shkreli could also hand over $5 million in a brokerage account and his stake in Vyera Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company he founded.

Matsumoto ruled last week that Shkreli would be held responsible for $10.4 million in financial losses linked to his time as head of Turing Pharmaceuticals.

Shkreli was convicted last August on three charges of deceiving hedge-fund investors. He will be sentenced on Friday, and could face up to 20 years in prison.

Jacqueline Thomsen has the story.


Interior: Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senior Interior official contacted former employer, violating ethics pledge: watchdog | Ag secretary orders environmental rollbacks for Forest Service | Senate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Senior Interior official contacted former employer, violating ethics pledge: watchdog Overnight Energy: Trump officials may pursue offshore drilling after election, report says | Energy regulators to delay projects pending appeals | EPA union calls for 'moratorium' on reopening plans MORE gave 10 of his acting directors more permanence in January, signing an order giving them most of the authority of a Senate-confirmed director.

Signed under the radar, Zinke's Jan. 12 order gave the acting directors for such bureaus as the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service "temporary re-delegation of authority," according to the order obtained by watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Under their new roles, the 10 employees filling in as acting directors and assistant secretaries during President Trump's transition period were elevated to official roles, so long as their jobs only entail "those functions or duties that are not required by statute or regulation to be performed only by the Senate-confirmed official occupying the position."

A number of watchdog groups have questioned the legitimacy of acting directors to remain in roles meant to be temporary during the transition period.

More from Miranda Green here.


Finance: Democrats are raising questions about restrictions from the Internal Revenue Service on people prepaying their property taxes, accusing the agency of targeting blue-state taxpayers.

In a letter Monday, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee asked IRS Acting Commissioner David Kautter to explain why the agency decided to warn taxpayers they might not be able to deduct prepaid 2018 property taxes on their 2017 returns.

"We view this as a clear case of bureaucratic overreach, and now, as a result, many of our constituents are losing a valuable deduction--and consequently part of their hard-earned income," they wrote.

The GOP tax law signed by President Trump in December limits deductions on state, local and property taxes to $10,000.

That led to many taxpayers who expected their taxes to go up to prepay their property taxes, particularly in blue states with high property values such as New York and California.

But in December, the IRS warned those taxpayers that they might not be able to deduct those prepaid taxes on their 2017 tax returns. 

Luis Sanchez explains.


Health care: Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinGeorge Floyd and the upcoming Texas Democratic Senate runoff Energy companies cancel Atlantic Coast Pipeline Trump nominee faces Senate hurdles to securing public lands post MORE (D-W.Va.) unveiled legislation Monday aimed at helping the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) improve its ability to stop suspicious shipments of opioids from flooding communities.

Manchin's bill changes a law that drew a firestorm of criticism after an explosive "60 Minutes"–Washington Post joint investigation reported the bill made it harder for the DEA to freeze opioid shipments from drug companies in the midst of a full-blown crisis.

The news reports named Rep. Tom MarinoThomas (Tom) Anthony MarinoWhy the North Carolina special election has national implications The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Republican wins special House election in Pennsylvania MORE (R-Pa.) as the chief advocate for the law, called the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act. He withdrew his nomination to serve as White House drug czar after receiving pushback over his role in the bill, which he argues hasn't been framed correctly.

Manchin said the legislation wrongly weakened the DEA's ability to enforce the nation's drug laws.

"This bill will make sure that the DEA regains the legal authority that was wrongly stripped from the agency in 2016 to ensure that they can go after companies taking advantage of the system, including those companies that send millions of opioid pills to tiny towns in West Virginia," Manchin said in a press release.

Rachel Roubein has more.


Energy: Trump administration officials may be able to hold the first auction for oil and natural gas drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) next year, Sen. Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanBottom line US security starts in the Arctic Senate confirms nation's first African American service chief MORE (R-Alaska) said Monday.

Speaking at CERAWeek, a major oil industry conference in Houston, Sullivan said he thinks the Interior Department could beat the 2021 deadline for a lease sale that was set out in last year's GOP tax bill, though the agency has not committed to a timeline.

"It's my hope, and this is a very aggressive timeline, that we would have the first lease sale ... to be sometime in 2019," Sullivan told the audience.

Sullivan said Interior officials are currently in Alaska laying the groundwork for eventual drilling in the Coastal Plain area of ANWR.

He encouraged oil industry officials there to bid in the lease sales.

Timothy Cama has more here.


Tech: The Pennsylvania attorney general is suing Uber for failing to disclose a massive 2016 data breach for over a year, alleging that the company violated state law requiring that consumers be notified of such hacks within a "reasonable" amount of time.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the lawsuit Monday, about four months after Uber revealed that 57 million people had been exposed in the breach a year before.

"Uber violated Pennsylvania law by failing to put our residents on timely notice of this massive data breach," Shapiro said in a statement.

Uber has admitted to paying the hackers responsible $100,000 to destroy the stolen data and to not disclose the breach. The company's new leadership revealed the hack in November 2017

Harper Neidig has the story.


Guns: A bipartisan group of senators is introducing gun safety legislation aimed at bolstering information-sharing between federal and state law enforcement following the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting.

The bill, known as "lie and try" legislation, would require federal officials to notify state law enforcement within 24 hours of when an individual prohibited from buying a gun tries to purchase a firearm and fails their background check.

"By ensuring that state and federal law enforcement are working together to prevent those who shouldn't be able to buy a gun from getting one, we can make our communities safer," Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Reid Wilson says political winners are governors who listened to scientists and public health experts; 12 states record new highs for seven-day case averages Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Democrats, voting rights groups pressure Senate to approve mail-in voting resources MORE (D-Del.) said in a statement.

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyGOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy NSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general MORE (R-Pa.) added that lying about your background when trying to purchase a gun is "a federal felony and it goes almost entirely unprosecuted now."

More from Jordain Carney here.


Tech: Video game executives will argue during a White House visit Thursday that their products are not to blame for school shootings or gun violence in the U.S., a trade association representing the industry told The Hill.

The Entertainment Software Association on Monday told The Hill it plans to make the case that violent video games should not be singled out for mass shootings and gun violence in the country.

"Like all Americans, we are deeply concerned about the level of gun violence in the United States," said ESA spokesman Dan Hewitt in a statement. "Video games are plainly not the issue: entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the US has an exponentially higher level of gun violence than any other nation."

Last week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the president planned to meet with industry representatives about school violence.

Harper Neidig's story is here.


Environment: An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staffer has a side job as a media consultant.

John Konkus, a political staffer in the EPA's press office, was cleared by the agency's ethics office in August to provide "consultative media advice" for at least two clients, as well as others he intended to sign with.

The arrangement was revealed in a letter the EPA sent in January to Rep. Frank Pallone (N.J.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

But the agency redacted the names of the clients Konkus was approved to work for.

Konkus has attracted significant attention among environmentalists and Democrats because EPA head Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats chart course to 'solving the climate crisis' by 2050 | Commerce Department led 'flawed process' on Sharpiegate, watchdog finds | EPA to end policy suspending pollution monitoring by end of summer Watchdog: EPA hasn't provided 'sufficient justification' for decision not to recover Pruitt travel spending OVERNIGHT ENERGY: DOJ whistleblower says California emissions probe was 'abuse of authority' | EPA won't defend policy blocking grantees from serving on boards | Minnesota sues Exxon, others over climate change MORE empowered him to review all of the agency's grants to determine whether they align with Trump administration priorities.

Timothy Cama has more.



Volcker Rule to undergo 'material changes,' Fed's Quarles says -- Bloomberg

Treasury report to weigh in on fintech regulation -- American Banker

SEC can recoup ill-gotten gains from New Mexico businessman: US appeals court -- Reuters

Your location data is being sold - often without your knowledge -- The Wall Street Journal

Bitcoin faces regulatory crackdown, Bank of England warns -- The Guardian