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The Regulatory Week in Review: July 24, 2015

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  • The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate introduced the Equality Act of 2015—legislation aimed at banning LGBT discrimination by adding to existing federal laws gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes, and prohibiting discrimination in a slew of venues.
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) settled with T-Mobile for $17.5 million after T-Mobile networks allegedly experienced a three-hour 911-service outage, during which customers were unable to call 911 service centers from their wireless phones.
  • U.S. Senators James Lankford and Heidi Heitkamp introduced the Smarter Regulations Through Advance Planning and Review Act, a package of bills mandating retrospective agency review of rules in an effort to improve the “effectiveness” of these rules—legislation which some have argued would instead hamper the rulemaking process.
  • The conformance period ended for compliance with the Volcker Rule—which prohibits banks from conducting propietrary trading—by which point banks were required to bring their activities fully in line with the rule’s various requirements.
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a rule that would ease the process for undocumented immigrants who are set to depart from the United States to secure a waiver once abroad that would allow them to reenter the country legally.
  • Republican candidate Jeb Bush advocated rolling back the federal government’s regulatory capabilities, while Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton argued for maintaining current regulations while also expanding regulation of the financial industry.
  • Uber took aim at European cities and national governments’ attempts to regulate the ride-booking company, contending that it would continue to pursue legal action against such efforts to curtail or ban its services.
  • In an effort to protect streams from pollution, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) proposed a new rule requiring that coal companies test and monitor streams before, during, and after any mining activity has taken place.