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The Regulatory Week in Review: February 10, 2012

  • U.S. and state officials reached a $26 billion settlement with the nation’s biggest mortgage lenders over alleged foreclosure abuses. The money will be distributed to homeowners facing foreclosure.
  • Controversy stirred over a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule mandating employer coverage of contraceptives, prompting members of Congress from both parties to write to the administration asking for an expansion of the rule’s exemption for religious organizations. See related RegBlog post.                                                                                   
  • Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a bill allowing counties to levy fees on natural-gas wells and reducing the ability of local governments to exclude gas drilling from their towns. See related RegBlog post.
  • Lawyers for the state of Arizona filed an opening brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in its appeal of a 9th Circuit ruling blocking enforcement of the state’s immigration enforcement law SB 1070.
  • An Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) report criticized the impact of a 1999 decision to place export controls on U.S. satellites makers, alleging that this resulted in reduced competitiveness of satellite exports and increased national security risk.
  • The advocacy group OMB Watch reported on 25 agencies’ recent submission of plans in compliance with Executive Order 13563, which required agencies to review their existing regulations to ensure that they are still necessary and cost-justified.
  • The FDA issued guidance to assist drug and device manufacturers conducting clinical trials in complying with revised requirements for obtaining informed consent from their study subjects.