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The Regulatory Week in Review: January 15, 2016

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  • President Obama delivered his eighth—and final—State of the Union address, detailing his plans for his last year in office, including establishing a new initiative to cure cancer, managing the nation’s coal and oil resources, focusing on criminal justice reform, and adopting minimum wage legislation, among other objectives.
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reportedly announced that it is treating the recent shooting of a police officer in West Philadelphia as “a terrorist attack,” and specifically will investigate whether the alleged gunman had a connection to the Islamic State in light of his claimed allegiance to the terrorist group immediately before opening fire.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015,” which would mandate that cigarette manufacturers use child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes—a bill aimed at protecting children from this potentially lethal substance, which is often sold in brightly-colored packaging and flavors that are especially tempting to children.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice that it will be holding a public workshop to receive comments from the healthcare industry and the public about genetic testing, including when it should be used and the appropriate method for providing results to patients.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that would apply sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other legislation, which currently prohibits discrimination and harassment against federal employees, to unpaid federal government interns.
  • U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a $3.9 billion budget proposal over ten years geared towards developing autonomous vehicles—cars that are capable of driving on their own— as part of the Obama administration’s “vision for transitioning to a safer, smarter and cleaner, more sustainable transportation system.”