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OpenMarket: October 2017

  • A New Day in Labor-Management Relations

    October 31, 2017

    There may never have been a more partisan National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) than during the Obama administration. During Obama’s tenure, the agency in charge of governing labor-relations in the private-sector upended 4,559 years of precedent. Nearly every decision made by the...
  • Ghouls and Goblins and Guidances

    October 31, 2017

    Every year, Frankenstein-esque regulations are pieced together in Washington, sometimes with comment periods and Congressional approval, but oftentimes without any oversight at all. Halloween is the perfect time to examine the haunting regulations spreading from Washington into your homes.

    The Spectrum Spectre: Net...

  • EPA Administrator Pruitt Cleans Up Advisory Committees

    October 31, 2017

    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt today is going to announce a new agency policy whereby independent science advisors cannot be funded by agency grants. This post explains the various means by which the EPA receives science advice, and describes why Pruitt’s policy is needed.

    At the outset, I should note that not all science advice is created equal. Various statutes create various advisory bodies with varying degrees of power. I’ll go through those briefly.

  • House Passes Two Bills to Reform EPA Settlement Abuse

    October 27, 2017

    By a 238-183 bipartisan vote on October 24, the House of Representatives passed the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017 (H.R. 732). The bill...
  • EPA Releases Report on Pro-Growth Energy-Related Actions

    October 27, 2017

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week released a report on its actions to implement President Trump’s “Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” (E.O. 17838).

    Issued on March 28, E.O. 17838 directs each agency head to “review” and “appropriately suspend, revise, or rescind” all of the agency’s regulations, orders, guidance documents, and other policies that “unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources beyond the degree necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law.”

    The E.O. also requires each agency to issue a corresponding report...

  • Pressure Grows to Reform Bank SIFI Designations

    October 27, 2017

    What makes a bank risky?

    While a simple question, the answer is anything but. As the 2008 crisis proved, managing risks in the financial system is far from straightforward and rarely easy to predict. What should be obvious, however, is that there is not a single magic aspect that pinpoints risk.

    Yet, Congress has a different take. The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 determined that there is a magic line – a bank’s asset size. Currently, any bank with over $50 billion in assets is considered a systemically important financial institution (SIFI) and faces heightened prudential regulation. As a result, many run-of-the-mill regional banks are regulated in a similar manner to trillion-dollar Wall Street firms.

    Fortunately, a bipartisan bill that would reform the SIFI...

  • How Government Unions Plan to Keep Members and Dues Flowing After Janus

    October 27, 2017

    Government unions are preparing for a world where they can no longer force non-members to pay dues in the public sector.

    That is because a case before the United States Supreme Court, Janus v AFSCME Council 31, could end the practice of unions charging fees to public employees who are not members. This is obviously troubling to labor unions. Currently, in states that permit agency fees, government unions do not have to worry about providing representation to bargaining unit employees that they would voluntarily pay for.

    But one of the most powerful public-sector unions has released a list of tweaks to collective bargaining agreements that can keep membership rolls and dues stable. Over at ...

  • Federal Communications Commission Rightly Relaxes Media Ownership Rules

    October 27, 2017

    The FCC’s announcement that it will relax media ownership rules is good news for consumers. It’s heartening to see the agency act to eliminate detrimental and outdated regulations. The FCC should extend this regulatory restraint to...
  • New York Times' Eric Lipton Smears EPA Chemical Office Official Nancy Beck

    October 26, 2017

    Recently, Project Veritas released a series of undercover videos that reveal how New York Times journalists are more interested in smearing the Trump administration than in reporting objective news. But you don’t need to go undercover to see examples of such unfair and biased New York Times reporting. A recent example is Eric Lipton’s article related to Nancy Beck, whom Trump selected to head up the chemical office at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    According to Lipton’s article, Beck’s appointment is a threat to public health and safety because she worked for the chemical industry’s trade association, the American Chemistry Council. The headline subtitle says it all:

    ...
  • Why Congress Should Block the CFPB Payday Loan Rule

    October 26, 2017

    Republicans have been looking for a political win for a while. They finally got one this week by overturning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) disastrous arbitration rule, which sought to bar financial companies from using private arbitration over class-action lawsuits—despite the fact that the CFPB’s own study confirmed that private arbitration is better for consumers. 

    Now they should turn their attention to the small dollar, short-term lending rule issued by the CFPB earlier this month. It is every bit as devastating as the arbitration rule. Congress should block the new rule via a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval. Below are just some of the reasons to fight the rule.  ...

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