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Window on Washington – Vol. 6, Situation 47 | Clark Hill PLC – JDSupra – JD Supra


Outlook for This Week within the Nation’s Capital

Congress. The Home and Senate are each in session this week. Authorities funding expires at midnight Friday, making passage of a short-term extension of the present Persevering with Decision for one more seven days inevitable later this week. Even when Congress reached a deal on funding, it could take a number of days to finalize particulars. Along with a probable CR extension, the Home this week will vote on a number of payments, together with Sami’s Regulation, the FLOODS Act, and human trafficking laws. Earlier than the tip of the congress, lawmakers have a protracted want record: help to Ukraine, a invoice to assist pregnant staff, power allowing reforms, year-end tax extenders together with the kid tax credit score, voting rights, election safety, hashish banking laws, and immigration reform, in addition to averting the approaching 4 % Medicare cuts attributable to Congress’ pay-as-you-go rule.

118th Congress.

  • Senate Democrats. Senate Democrats held management elections final week – the ultimate caucus to take action. Whereas Chief Schumer’s 17-member management staff is intensive, the one change was the addition of Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI). Final Friday, Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) introduced she had modified her occasion affiliation from Democrat to Unbiased forward of what is going to be a difficult reelection marketing campaign in 2024, ought to she run for reelection. Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer (D-NY) mentioned Sinema will keep her committee positions.
  • Home Republicans. Within the Home, GOP Chief Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues to wrestle to solidify assist forward of the Jan. 3 election for Speaker of the Home. He has instructed the Steering Committee – accountable for assigning committees and management slots – to attend till after the Speaker election to pick out committee and subcommittee management decisions, utilizing coveted positions as bargaining chips for assist. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), the previous chair of the Home Freedom Caucus, formally introduced he would run towards McCarthy for the ground vote.
  • Home Democrats. Home Democrats will vote this week on a possible rule to power phrases limits on leaders of Committees launched by Rep. Invoice Foster (D-IL), who introduced a late-breaking bid to guide the Home Science Committee.
  • Earmarks. The Home GOP convention has not but introduced what adjustments to the earmark course of could are available FY24, although Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) mentioned leaders are contemplating adjustments to make sure there’s a “federal nexus” for initiatives. These adjustments may have an effect on numerous beforehand eligible initiatives resembling museums or entities operated on the state or native degree.

FY23 Appropriations. Appropriators haven’t but reached an settlement on topline funding ranges. Democrats and Republicans are about $25 billion aside on non-defense points, protecting an settlement elusive. Democrats had deliberate to introduce a “two-corner” omnibus appropriations invoice as early as at this time to power the GOP to determine how it could proceed with negotiations. Final night, outgoing Senate Appropriations Chair, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced that he would delay doing so attributable to some progress with Republicans on a top-line break up. Home Appropriations Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) additionally introduced she would delay introduction of a year-long Persevering with Decision due to weekend discussions. She has held out the likelihood that such a year-long car may embrace Congressional earmarks to melt the blow of forgoing an omnibus appropriations measure. Provided that authorities funding expires at midnight Friday, Congress should cross a short-term extension of the present Persevering with Decision (CR) later this week, an consequence extensively anticipated since Congress returned from Thanksgiving.

Protection Authorization. The Home final week handed the FY23 Nationwide Protection Authorization Act, setting the protection funds at a document $858 billion. The settlement additionally consists of quite a few non-defense provisions, together with main authorizations for the Intelligence Group, State Division, Coast Guard, Water Assets Improvement initiatives, ocean coverage, and different actions. The compromised invoice didn’t embrace Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) allowing reform proposal, nor did it embrace hashish banking laws or a waiver for Boeing’s 737 MAX 7 and 10 plane, which some members of Congress advocated to incorporate. The Senate will subsequent take into account the laws earlier than sending it to President Biden.

Biden Administration.  The Africa Chief’s Summit is in Washington, DC tomorrow by means of Thursday. Biden will meet with dozens of African leaders, specializing in bettering cooperation and limiting the attain of China and Russia in Africa. Biden will ship remarks at a U.S.-Africa enterprise discussion board, maintain a number of conferences with leaders, and host a dinner on the White Home. The White Home suggested there could be a number of “main deliverables and initiatives” introduced through the summit.

Final Week within the Nation’s Capital

CONGRESS

Finances & Appropriations

Home GOP’s Assist-Wished Signal – One Border Funding Chief: Border funding will likely be one among Home Republicans’ greatest causes subsequent 12 months. There’s only one hiccup: They’re struggling to search out somebody to guide the cost. The Home GOP continues to be trying to find a senior lawmaker keen to go the politically flamable panel that oversees funding for the Division of Homeland Safety and different companies for the following Congress. (Politico)

High Republicans Ask Watchdog to Have a look at Financial Help to Ukraine: The highest Republicans with oversight of international affairs are calling on an impartial congressional watchdog to supply detailed data on the Biden administration’s supply of financial and humanitarian assist to Ukraine. (The Hill) 

Well being

Dems’ Last Covid Report Slams Authorities Failures; Congress Could Repeat Them: Democrats on the Choose Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Disaster on Friday launched their ultimate report, which argues that structural weaknesses, management failings and the unfold of misinformation contributed to the deaths of greater than 1 million Individuals through the pandemic. (Politico)

Lawmakers Drum Up Assist to Cease Cuts: Two new letters are being shopped across the Home within the hopes of accelerating strain on congressional management to handle looming Medicare cuts in a year-end package deal, your host stories. One of many letters, coming from a bipartisan group of representatives, urges all cuts be stopped, whereas one other, from the GOP Docs Caucus, emphasizes the necessity to tackle and probably cut back the cuts, based on drafts obtained by POLITICO. The distinction in strategy comes as some members are more and more involved with tips on how to pay for changes to reimbursements. Particulars stay obscure whereas committee members look ahead to topline appropriations numbers from management. (Politico)

Banking & Housing  

SEC to Think about Guidelines That May Reshape How the Inventory Market Operates: The Securities and Trade Fee signaled final Wednesday it plans to situation 4 proposals this week to make the inventory market extra environment friendly for small traders, a key component of Chair Gary Gensler‘s coverage agenda for Wall Avenue. (MarketWatch)

Crypto/Blockchain

FTX Founder Agrees to Testify at Home Listening to on Collapse: The founder and former CEO of bankrupt cryptocurrency platform FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, on Friday mentioned he’ll testify earlier than a Home committee subsequent week regardless of his preliminary reluctance. Bankman-Fried’s determination to look means he’ll face questions from lawmakers in regards to the FTX collapse beneath oath. Whereas Congress can not carry felony prices towards a person, it may possibly share probably incriminating materials with regulators and legislation enforcement investigating FTX. Bankman-Fried didn’t say whether or not he would additionally agree to look earlier than the Senate Banking Committee throughout its personal listening to on FTX scheduled for Wednesday. (The Hill)

Senate Banking Democrats Plan Larger Function in Crypto Laws: After the demise of cryptocurrency trade FTX, Senate Banking Democrats anticipate a much bigger position for his or her committee in laws for the trade within the subsequent Congress after taking a again seat to the Senate Agriculture Committee this 12 months. (Roll Call)

US Lawmakers Need Environmental Company to Examine Crypto Mining’s Vitality Influence: U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) launched a invoice that will, if handed, direct the Environmental Safety Company to review the power utilization and environmental impression of crypto mining. Cautioning that crypto mining threatened U.S. power targets and native energy grids, the lawmakers mentioned the Crypto-Asset Environmental Transparency Act would direct the EPA to supply a report inspecting the impact miners utilizing greater than 5 megawatts of energy have on greenhouse fuel emissions. (CoinDesk)

Tax Reform

Negotiators Dig in Over Tax Credit in Spending Invoice: Tax credit for people and companies are up for grabs as negotiations on a year-end spending deal come right down to the wire. The attainable credit vary from an enlargement of the kid tax credit score (CTC), which was beefed up through the pandemic and ate away at youngster poverty charges within the U.S., to incentives for corporations to speculate extra in analysis. (The Hill)

Rep. Tenney Introduces Invoice to Redirect IRS Funding to Southern Border as Title 42 Nears Its Finish: Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY-22) has launched laws to make use of elevated spending on the IRS for strengthening the border as an alternative. Tenney advised Fox Information Digital that her invoice, the DIRECT Act, would redirect new IRS funding to the border to fight the incoming move of medicine and unlawful immigrants. Titled the “Diverting IRS Assets to the Exigent Disaster By (DIRECT) Funds for Border Safety Act,” the laws comes because the GOP hammers Democrats over $80 billion in IRS funding by means of the Inflation Discount Act. (Fox News) 

Transportation 

U.S. Lawmakers Decline to Add Boeing 737 MAX Exemption in Protection Invoice: U.S. lawmakers declined so as to add an extension to an annual protection invoice of a looming deadline that will impose a brand new security commonplace for contemporary cockpit alerts for 2 new variations of Boeing’s best-selling 737 MAX plane. (CNBC)

Commerce

Democrats Unrepentant as Allies Fume Over Commerce Guidelines: A congressional backroom deal to favor American factories is spiraling right into a full-blown international commerce battle, with European and Asian allies livid at being lower out of profitable U.S. tax credit for electrical automobiles. (Politico) 

Area/NASA & NOAA

Finalized 2023 NDAA Retains Many Area Tech Provisions: The finalized model of the 2023 Nationwide Protection Authorization Act—which approves $858 billion in funding in fiscal 12 months 2023—comprises a number of initiatives to handle area coverage and know-how that survived reconciliation between the Home and Senate versions of the brand new protection spending act. (NextGov)

Protection

Home Passes Annual Protection Coverage Invoice:  The Home final Thursday handed the annual Nationwide Protection Authorization Act (NDAA) with a bipartisan 350-80 vote, sending the mammoth, $847 billion measure to the Senate for consideration forward of the year-end deadline.  Along with considerably extra spending than the Biden Administration proposed, in a win for Republicans the measure additionally consists of language that repeals the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for U.S. service members, which has been in place since August 2021.  (The Hill)

Homeland Safety & Immigration 

HHS ‘knowingly’ Transferred Migrant Kids to Criminals, Intercourse Traffickers, GOP Senators Cost: Republican senators are accusing the Division of Well being and Human Companies of “knowingly” transferring unaccompanied migrant youngsters to criminals, primarily based on a brand new whistleblower declare. (Fox News)

Senators Pitch Deal to Defend ‘Dreamers,’ Enhance Border Safety: Roughly 2 million “Dreamers” would get a path to citizenship in trade for stronger border safety measures beneath a free blueprint for an immigration deal circulating amongst Senate workplaces. The proposal by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) continues to be very a lot in flux, based on a Senate aide and immigrant advocates aware of the talks. (Roll Call)

New Democrat Coalition Requires Quick Motion to Defend Pathway to Citizenship for Dreamers: Members of the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) referred to as for Congress to cross laws defending Dreamers earlier than the tip of the lame-duck session on the finish of this month, describing the immigration reform as an “pressing motion” for legislators. (The Hill)

Democrats Inform Biden to Ditch ‘Punitive’ Immigration Measures: A bunch of Home Democrats are calling on the Biden administration to cease implementing “punitive and failed deterrence” immigration measures and as an alternative acknowledge asylum as a human proper. (The Hill)

Immigration Advocates Cautiously Optimistic About Senate Immigration Deal: Immigration advocates are warily eyeing an immigration deal that’s reportedly within the works within the Senate, hopeful that the bipartisan talks may break an everlasting logjam. (The Hill)

Home GOP Particulars Border Safety Initiatives for Subsequent Congress: At a information convention exterior the Capitol, members of the Texas delegation previewed a 13-page legislative framework that goals to fight the traditionally excessive migration straining authorities assets on the U.S.-Mexico border. (Roll Call 

Cyber

Key Cyber and Tech Provisions Included—and Excluded—from the Last NDAA:  This 12 months, provisions that had been finally ignored of the large annual Protection authorization invoice—regardless of in some instances bipartisan settlement throughout each Congressional chambers—acquired essentially the most consideration.  Amongst different issues, analysts precisely predicted that key cybersecurity provisions associated to rising the federal government’s visibility into their distributors’ software program provide chains and figuring out systemically vital entities for federal help and regulatory obligations could be excluded from the reconciled NDAA after opposition from trade.  (Next Gov)

Agriculture 

Ag Analysis and the Subsequent Farm Invoice: U.S. senators raised considerations Tuesday that nations resembling China and Brazil are investing extra closely in agricultural analysis than the U.S. is, which may trigger the U.S. to slide in progressive methods to spice up farmer productiveness. (Progressive Farmer) 

Atmosphere & Inside  

Invoice Would Create Nice Lakes Authority to Promote Regional Development: A bipartisan invoice launched within the U.S. Senate would set up a brand new regional authority to advertise financial progress in Nice Lakes states. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) launched the Nice Lakes Authority Act of 2022 on Dec. 2. The invoice would create a federal-state physique tasked with selling investments in manufacturing communities and economically distressed areas of the area. (MLive) 

Vitality

Home Democrats Wish to Use DPA for Electrical Transformers, Search $2.1B in Funding: A bunch of Home Democrats is pushing Congress to make use of the highly effective Protection Manufacturing Act (DPA) to quickly produce electrical transformers, a name that comes within the wake of an armed assault at two substations in North Carolina that left tens of 1000’s with out energy. (The Hill)

EXECUTIVE BRANCH 

Well being/HHS/NIH

Ex-FDA Vaccine Inspectors Name for Higher Coaching: Coaching within the Meals and Drug Administration’s workplace that oversees licensed vaccines has decreased dramatically lately, elevating considerations that the staff will not be geared up to determine high quality management points in manufacturing, based on three former inspectors. (Politico)

CDC Director Walensky Requires Extra Authority from Congress: If Congress needs to see a simpler and modernized Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, it wants to provide it extra authority, CDC director Rochelle Walensky mentioned on the Milken Institute Way forward for Well being Summit on Wednesday. (Axios)

FDA Greenlights Bivalent Vaccines for Kids as Younger as 6 Months Previous: The FDA final Thursday licensed emergency use of up to date bivalent Covid-19 vaccines for kids as younger as 6 months outdated. The transfer to authorize bivalent pictures made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna comes as Covid-19 infections in the USA tick up amid essentially the most intense flu season in years. (Politico)

Labor & Workforce

Biden Releasing Practically $36 Billion To Assist Pensions of Union Employees: President Joe Biden introduced final Thursday he’ll pump $36 billion right into a union pension plan to forestall drastic profit cuts for pensioners, only a week after he signed a railroad labor deal opposed by a number of union organizations. The announcement marks the biggest federal award for retiree pensions in historical past and is funded by Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, based on the White Home. The $36 billion will go to the Central States Pension Fund, which is for largely Teamster union members. (Fox News)

Division of Training 

GAO Releases Report Blasting Schools for Deceptive Monetary Assist Letters: The Authorities Accountability Workplace (GAO) blasted faculties in a new report for deceptive college students in monetary help letters in regards to the complete value of attendance. Ninety-one % of faculties underestimated or didn’t embrace the online value of attending their establishment in monetary help affords to college students, based on the GAO report launched final week. (The Hill)

360,000 Scholar Mortgage Debtors Obtained $24 Billion in Forgiveness From Repair to Public Service Mortgage Forgiveness: Due to the coverage repair often known as the Limited PSLF waiver, near 360,000 debtors have now certified for $24 billion in mortgage forgiveness, based on U.S. Division of Training knowledge analyzed by higher-education knowledgeable Mark Kantrowitz. (CNBC)

9 Million Individuals Wrongly Advised They Had been Permitted for Scholar Debt Forgiveness: About 9 million Individuals with pupil loans who had utilized for the Biden administration’s student-debt forgiveness program mistakenly obtained emails final month that mentioned their purposes had been accepted. (CBS News)

A Conservative Group That Blocked Scholar-loan Forgiveness Desires the Supreme Court docket to Take It Up because the Second Case on the Matter: On Wednesday, the Job Creators Community, a conservative group representing plaintiffs who sued Biden’s debt aid in October, wrote in a legal filing that the Supreme Court docket ought to take up the case. (Business Insider) 

Banking & Housing/HUD

Economists Say a U.S. Housing Recession has Already Arrived: This has been a 12 months of watershed moments in actual property, and never the great variety. The Housing Market Index, a carefully watched trade metric that gauges the outlook for dwelling gross sales, declined to 33 in November on a hundred-point scale, its lowest degree in a decade, save for the primary dystopian month of the pandemic. Something beneath 50 spells hassle. (The Hill)

Crypto/Blockchain

SEC Sends Letter Urging Up to date Crypto Disclosures:  The Securities and Trade Fee is sending a letter to U.S. public corporations asking companies to guage their disclosure obligations, together with a “particular tailor-made disclosure,” about how latest crypto bankruptcies and broader monetary misery throughout the digital asset market could have hit their enterprise. The company asks for corporations to reveal their relationship with different companies which have filed for chapter, have skilled extreme redemptions (financial institution runs), have crypto belongings unaccounted for, or skilled “materials company compliance failures.” (Yahoo! Finance) 

Tax Reform/IRS

The IRS is Coming for Crypto — However It’s Sophisticated: The world of crypto is a brand new frontier for a bunch of presidency companies — and the IRS isn’t any exception. Although adjustments are taking place slowly, the company’s making an attempt to ensure that Individuals who dabble in digital belongings pay their justifiable share of taxes — whereas different regulators grapple with the extra existential questions of crypto’s place in our monetary system. (Axios)

Commerce

U.S., EU Conform to Intensify Talks on ‘Inexperienced Subsidies’ Dispute: The US and European Union agreed to accentuate talks to resolve EU considerations over main subsidies for American corporations contained in a U.S. clear power legislation. Though no deal was reached at a gathering of the bilateral Commerce and Expertise Council, the 2 sides pledged to proceed work on preliminary progress and mentioned they might push for an answer that advantages each U.S. and European companies, staff and shoppers in addition to the local weather. (AP)

Report says Export Management Company Wants Improve: Stronger limits on the export of U.S.-made know-how are important to containing threats from Russia and China, based on a brand new report. Export limits can play a strong position in guaranteeing nationwide safety, however the company accountable for managing these guidelines wants a much bigger funds and staffing to hold out that mission, based on the Heart for Strategic & Worldwide Research. (Axios)

Area/NASA & NOAA

A New Regulation Requires Companies to Higher Put together for Pure Disasters: Federal companies will quickly need to suppose extra fastidiously about their publicity to dangers from pure disasters, with President Biden on Monday signing into legislation a measure that may power companies to reply extra intentionally to local weather change. (GovExec)

Development Begins on the World’s Largest Radio Telescope: Work is lastly underway on the world’s largest radio astronomy observatory. Often called the Sq. Kilometre Array, the mega telescope consists of giant clusters of dishes and antennas unfold throughout distant elements of South Africa and Western Australia. Development of the observatory started final week after three a long time of planning. (NBC News)

Amazon Assessments Machine Studying Software program to Analyze Satellite tv for pc Photographs from Area:   Amazon and its companions, Italian area start-up D-Orbit and computing know-how developer Unibap, partnered to reveal an answer to the issue of speaking all the massive quantities earth science knowledge collected in orbit — AI software program working straight on the orbiting satellite tv for pc that may make its personal choices about which pictures to transmit to Earth.  Through the experiment the machine studying software program efficiently recognized objects resembling atmospheric clouds and billows of wildfire smoke and managed to scale back the dimensions of the pictures transmitted to Earth, bettering the pace and effectivity of the supply course of.  (Space.com)

Asteroid Searching Telescope Clears NASA Evaluation, However Two-12 months Delay Hikes Price:  A NASA infrared area telescope particularly designed to find Earth-threatening asteroids and comets cleared a important evaluate final week and is now an official NASA program. NASA introduced at this time that the Close to-Earth Object Surveyor is accepted to maneuver into Section C of growth, however with a two-year delay from 2026 to 2028 and related value enhance. As a substitute of $500-600 million, it’s now $1.2 billion not together with launch.  (Space Policy Online)

Protection, Commerce Departments Choose Firms to Prototype Area Visitors Administration Options:  The Workplace of Area Commerce and the Division of Protection introduced Dec. 6 they’ve chosen six business companies to prototype area site visitors knowledge platforms that observe objects and medium and geostationary Earth orbits.  COMSPOC Corp., ExoAnalytic Options, Kayhan Area, KBR, NorthStar Earth & Area Inc. and Slingshot Aerospace obtained contracts for a pilot venture to reveal using business applied sciences for area site visitors administration.  (Space News)

Protection/DOD

Austin Urges Congress to Cross a Finances, Citing China Risk: Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin urged lawmakers to cross a full-year protection funds arguing investments in new, extra fashionable weapons are wanted to counter China and Russia. (GovExec)

Google, Oracle, Amazon and Microsoft Awarded Pentagon Cloud Deal of As much as $9 Billion Mixed: The Pentagon on Wednesday awarded Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle a cloud-computing contract that may attain as excessive as $9 billion complete by means of 2028. (CNBC)

The Air Drive Desires to Ship its Reaper Drones to Ukraine. The Pentagon’s Not So Positive: The Air Drive thought it had the proper plan: Take its older Reaper drones, which it’s been making an attempt to eliminate for years, and ship them to Ukraine, a rustic begging for long-range weaponry. However after months of inner wrangling, the Pentagon has but to decide — although the drones may present a functionality to Ukraine that it’s wished for the reason that begin of the battle. (Politico)

US Navy Creates Innovation Heart, Advisory Board to Focus Investments:  The Secretary of the U.S. Navy, Carlos Del Toro, introduced that the Navy is creating a brand new innovation middle and an advisory board targeted on science and know-how because the service seeks to raised make investments its assets to remain forward of potential adversaries in the long run, which will likely be situated on the Naval Postgraduate Faculty in Monterey, California, and can which concentrate on the really transformational know-how that the Navy wants, that will nonetheless be 10 to fifteen years down the street.  (Defense News)

The Protection Division’s New Information King Is Skeptical of AI ‘Pixie Mud’:  Synthetic intelligence could determine who wins and loses future wars however not all the pieces that calls itself “synthetic intelligence” guarantees actual intelligence, says Craig Martell, the Pentagon’s Chief Digital and Synthetic Intelligence Officer.  Martell believes most of the companies, workplaces, and organizations inside DoD which can be asking for synthetic intelligence actually simply want to know their very own knowledge. If they will do this, he says, they’ll be capable of create their very own AI instruments that higher match their wants.  (Defense One)

DHS & Immigration

DHS Delays REAL ID Compliance to 2025: The Division of Homeland Safety has once more postponed its deliberate rollout of the Actual ID-compliant licenses required for air vacationers 18 and over boarding flights in the USA — a nod to considerations that not sufficient Individuals have compliant types of identification. (Politico)

The Biden Administration Desires Extra Than $3 Billion to Prep for a Potential Migrant Surge on the Border After Covid Ban Ends: DHS needs greater than $3 billion from Congress to prep for a migrant surge anticipated when Covid restrictions finish Dec. 21, cash Republicans will not be keen to approve. (NBC News) 

Biden Administration to Enchantment Ruling Hanging Title 42, Pledges New Regulation From CDC: The Biden administration final Wednesday mentioned it plans to attraction a courtroom ruling putting down the Title 42 coverage limiting asylum, forecasting that public well being authorities plan to jot down a brand new regulation to interchange it. (The Hill)

Secretary Mayorkas Extends and Redesignates Momentary Protected Standing for Haiti for 18 Months: Secretary of Homeland Safety Alejandro N. Mayorkas introduced the extension of Momentary Protected Standing (TPS) for Haiti for an extra 18 months, from February 4, 2023, by means of August 3, 2024, attributable to extraordinary and non permanent situations in Haiti. (DHS)

US Appeals Ruling That Would Raise Asylum Restrictions: The U.S. authorities mentioned final Wednesday it’s interesting a courtroom ruling that will elevate asylum restrictions which have turn out to be the cornerstone of border enforcement lately. (AP)

Judiciary/DOJ

DOJ Pursues Uncommon Case of Automotive Transport Value-Fixing and Extortion: Federal antitrust and gang prosecutors indicted a dozen folks, together with a hoop chief with alleged ties to Mexico’s Gulf Cartel, on prices of price-fixing, extortion and cash laundering involving the cargo of used automobiles to Mexico, based on an indictment unsealed final week. (Politico)

Biden Indicators Invoice to Curb Use of Sexual Harassment NDAs: President Biden signed the Communicate Out Act into legislation final Wednesday, limiting using nondisclosure agreements to silence victims of office sexual harassment and assault. The invoice’s passage got here as a victory for #MeToo advocates and survivors of office sexual misconduct, and it’s designed to create a extra clear surroundings. (Axios)

Cyber

CISA’s 2023 Priorities Embrace Election Safety, Company Cyber Danger:  Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Safety Company, mentioned the company’s 2023 priorities embrace working with state and native officers to organize for the following presidential election and making inroads with company boards to enhance how the C-suite manages cyber danger.  Easterly spoke about these wants final Tuesday throughout a gathering with the company’s Cybersecurity Advisory Committee, an impartial physique that helps information CISA technique.  (Cyberscoop)

Agriculture/USDA 

‘Fixed Turmoil’ at FDA’s Meals Regulatory Company, Report Says: The Meals and Drug Administration’s Human Meals Program lacks management and mission readability, resulting in sluggish decision-making and weak regulation of foodborne sickness, based on a highly-anticipated, independent report on the FDA’s Human Meals Program. (Politico) 

EPA & DOI

U.S. Will Think about New Precedence Areas for Photo voltaic Vitality on Public Lands: The Biden administration on Monday mentioned it could start a course of to determine new areas for photo voltaic growth within the Western United States to ramp up allowing of fresh power initiatives on public lands with the intention to fight local weather change. (Reuters)

EPA Proposes to Shut ‘Loophole’ for Reporting ‘Perpetually Chemical’ Releases: The EPA mentioned it’s proposing to shut a previous “loophole” that allowed some corporations to get out of reporting their releases of sure sorts of poisonous chemical substances. (The Hill)

Division of Vitality

White Home to Ask Oil and Gasoline Execs to Assist Ukraine Vitality Infrastructure: The Biden administration is convening a digital assembly on Thursday with oil and fuel executives to debate how the USA can assist Ukrainian power infrastructure. The assembly comes as Russia seeks to chop off Ukraine’s power provides and destroy infrastructure as winter approaches with missile assaults. (Reuters)

NREL Unveils Benchmark for Monitoring Lengthy-Time period Price Tendencies in Newest Photo voltaic and Storage Value Report: The Nationwide Renewable Vitality Laboratory has rolled out a brand new benchmark metric referred to as the “minimal sustainable value” in its 2022 PV photo voltaic and power storage value evaluation to raised observe long-term tendencies. (UtilityDive)

Federal Memo Warned of Assaults on Energy Crops: Days after what officers referred to as a focused assault on energy substations in North Carolina, a latest federal legislation enforcement memo that beforehand warned of comparable attainable assaults was disclosed. (The Hill)

FERC Chairman Desires to Replace Cybersecurity Necessities: Regulators are exploring tips on how to replace important infrastructure safety—or CIP—requirements with the intention to safe electrical utilities and different energy-sector entities from assaults towards their software program provide chains. (NextGov)

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