Jan
30

Fiduciary rule to OMB?

From: Politico

By BRIAN MAHONEY

With help from Marianne LeVine and Timothy Noah

FIDUCIARY RULE TO OMB?:  “The Obama administration this week is expected to advance a highly anticipated rule that would restrict the fees certain brokerage firms can earn for advising customers about financial investments, according to people familiar with the decision.

“After a flurry of conversations between White House officials and industry players in recent days, the Labor Department’s long-delayed fiduciary duty rule for broker-dealers is expected to be sent to the OMB by Friday so it can be reviewed before being formally proposed, said three sources familiar with these conversations.

Jan
27

Obama calls for regs on drones

From: The Hill

By Justin Sink

President Obama on Tuesday said the U.S. needs to create a “regulatory structure” for the domestic use of drones — one day after a small, unmanned quad copter was discovered on the South Lawn of the White House.

“There are incredibly useful functions that these drones can play in terms of farmers who are managing crops and conservationists who want to take stock of wildlife,” Obama told CNN.

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The president said he had asked the federal government to work with outside groups to create a regulatory framework. He said the framework should preserve privacy and safety while allowing for innovation, and likened the effort to the early days of the Internet.

Jan
25

Food, dietary supplement & cosmetics regulatory update, vol. II, issue 2

From: Association of Corporate Counsel

Mark Mansour, Colleen M. Heisey, Jonathan Berman , Emily K. Strunk, Stephanie L. Resnik and Brigid C. DeCoursey | Jones Day

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FSIS Releases Establishment-Specific Data Release Strategic Plan

In the January 15, 2015, Federal Register, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (“FSIS”) is announcing the availability of the draft Establishment-Specific Data Release Strategic Plan for sharing data on federally inspected meat and poultry establishments with the public. FSIS developed the Strategic Plan in response to memoranda released by President Obama and the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), an Executive Order, and internal agency recommendations that called for increased data sharing. Comments due March 16, 2015.

Jan
23

White House aide calls for stricter broker rules on 401(k)s

From: Bloomberg via LifeHealthPro

By Dave Michaels and Margaret Collins

One of President Barack Obama’s top economic advisers said abusive trading practices are costing workers billions of dollars in retirement savings each year and called for stricter rules on Wall Street brokers.

Jason Furman, chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, drafted a Jan. 13 memo citing research that says some broker practices, such as boosting commissions with excessive trading, cost investors $8 billion to $17 billion a year. The document was circulated to senior aides and indicates the White House may support tighter oversight of brokers who handle retirement accounts.

Jan
16

U.S. oil train safety proposal due in May

By Reuters Media via Inforum

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Transportation Department will offer a new design for oil trains by mid-May as officials try to make sure crude oil is moving safely on the tracks, officials said this week. The next-generation tanker will have a thicker shell, more heat protection and other safety features meant to prevent future mishaps from becoming fiery derailments. Details have not been finalized.

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The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is weighing costs and benefits of a draft proposal that has drawn more than 3,800 public comments.

Read Complete Article

Jan
13

Your Feedback During the Public Comment Period Really Does Matter

From: Moyers & Company

by Cass Sunstein & Reid Hastie

The following is an excerpt from Sunstein and Reid Hastie’s new book, Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter.

Whether the issue involves health care or immigration or clean air, federal policy is often made through rule making. Operating in groups, agencies try really hard to compile relevant information.

We have noted that the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) sees much of its responsibility as one of assembling dispersed information, so as to increase the likelihood that the relevant group — people who work for the government itself — is wiser.

Jan
12

Ag leader: U.S. regulation threatens farmers, ranchers

From: The Des Moines Register

Christopher Doering

SAN DIEGO – Excessive regulation by the federal government threatens the viability of farming and ranching, the head of the country’s largest farm group said Sunday.

Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, used much of his speech to more than 4,500 people at the group’s annual convention to warn of a barrage of regulations from the government. He focused specifically on a rule proposed last spring by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers known as the “Waters of the U.S.” rule.

Jan
07

Joint Statement: United States-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue

From: The White House

When President Barack Obama and President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the creation of the United States-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) in May 2013, they established a new strategic vision for our economic cooperation, focused on delivering tangible and positive economic benefits to the people of the United States and Mexico.  Our robust cooperation and dedication to finding binational solutions to shared economic challenges strengthens both of our countries and creates opportunities for our citizens.  As neighbors and partners, we will continue to position North America as the most competitive and dynamic region in the world.