Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, courts, Capitol Hill and beyond. It’s Thursday evening here in Washington, where GOP leaders were forced to postpone a vote on their ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill as they scrambled for votes.
Here’s the latest.
THE BIG STORY
The Senate voted Thursday to strike down Obama-era Internet privacy rules.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last October passed the online privacy rules to crack down on the advertising practices of Internet service providers.
This is the latest example of Republican lawmakers turning to the Congressional Review Act to eliminate recently published regulations from the Obama administration. But it marks the first time during the Trump administration that the upper chamber initiated the repeal of a regulation.
The House is expected to pass the disapproval resolution in the coming weeks, and send it to President Trump’s desk for final approval.
The Hill’s tech team has the story:
The rules require Internet service providers such as AT&T and Verizon to obtain customers’ permission before using their personal information for advertising purposes.
Critics of the privacy regulations say they are too onerous, and subject service providers to stricter regulations than websites such as Facebook and Google, which also collect consumer data.
The Senate vote immediately drew criticism from privacy and consumer advocates like the ACLU, Public Knowledge and Free Press, while trade groups praised the move.
In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday night, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who introduced the bill, said the FCC regulations were an example of a “bureaucratic power grab.”
“Passing this CRA will send a powerful message that federal agencies can’t unilaterally restrict constitutional rights and expect to get away with it,” Flake said.
“President Trump may be outraged by fake violations of his own privacy, but every American should be alarmed by the very real violation of privacy that will result of the Republican rollback of broadband privacy protections,” Markey said in a statement after the vote.
“With today’s vote, Senate Republicans have just made it easier for American’s sensitive information about their health, finances and families to be used, shared, and sold to the highest bidder without their permission,” he continued.
TOMORROW’S REGS TODAY
Keep an eye on these rules in Friday’s edition of the Federal Register:
—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will strengthen certain fruit and vegetable importation restrictions.
Under the Obama administration, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service loosened the importation restrictions for Argentine lemons. To comply with President Trump’s regulatory moratorium, the USDA will delay those changes for a second time, essentially strengthening the rules.
The changes will now go into effect on May 26.
—The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will review money transfer rules.
The CFPB plans to assess the agency’s regulations for “consumer remittance transfers,” better known as money or “wire” transfers.
The review could lead to potential future rulemaking.
The public has 60 days to comment.
—The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will rewrite regulations for a program that seeks to bring more women and minorities into their workforce.
The changes will go into effect immediately.
NEWS RIGHT NOW
BY THE NUMBERS
3: Proposed rules
6: Final rules
(Friday’s Federal Register)
We’ll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill’s Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and @wheelerlydia.
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