The Regulatory Week in Review: February 19, 2016
IN THE NEWS
- Leaving behind an indelible legacy in light of what many have described as his larger-than-life personality, his intellectually rigorous and evocative judicial opinions, and his staunch adherence to originalism, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away, his untimely death setting off a potentially divisive battle between President Obama and a group of U.S. Senate Republicans over who—if anyone—will be confirmed to fill his seat during President Obama’s remaining months in office.
- President Barack Obama met with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at a Summit where the leaders reached agreements including to reduce climate change in accordance with the agreement from the Paris Climate Conference, and President Obama discussed the advantages of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the United States’ support for “advance[s] [in] rule of law, good governance, accountable institutions and the universal human rights of all people.”
- Following a vote by the FCC Commissioners in favor of the proposal, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a proposed rule that would mandate that pay-TV companies provide television program information to other device companies, in an effort to increase competition and to give consumers access to cable using devices other than cable set-top boxes, which most consumers are currently required to lease.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released guidance that suggests that the symptoms and risks of Zika virus, a virus contracted through a mosquito bite that can pass to a fetus from a pregnant woman with the virus, are included in blood donation materials; clinics only accept blood donations from individuals who may have the virus after four weeks from the time of possible exposure; and only blood donations from places without the virus are used where there is currently “active transmission.”
- After a group of U.S. House Republicans introduced a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill that includes a proposal to transfer control of air traffic operations from the agency to an independent corporation—sparking a contentious debate over whether the agency should be stripped of this long-held authority—conservative organization Heritage Action for America jumped into the fray, expressing concerns that this move would fail to provide what the group considers to be the expected benefits of a privatized air traffic control system, but rather would “create an organization similar to other government-sponsored enterprises that keep taxpayers on the hook for serious missteps.”
WHAT WE’RE READING THIS WEEK
- A recently published National Conference of State Legislatures study found that in 2015 immigration legislation increased 26% from the previous year. According to the study, Texas and California implemented the highest number of new measures regarding immigration.