Sunday, August 4, 2013

Seven Obama regulations to watch - The Hill's RegWatch

Members of Congress are heading back to their districts this weekend for the August recess, but regulators across Washington will remain at work crafting new rules.
In coming weeks and months, the Obama administration is set to issue scores of regulations, some of them long-delayed and others stemming from more recent laws.
The Hill has assembled a list — by no means exhaustive — of notable regulations on tap that run the gamut from power plants to vending machines.

Here's a look at seven major regulations to come:
Power plants
In June, President Obama announced a major new initiative to combat climate change that would set limits on carbon pollution from power plants.
His proposal addresses both existing and yet-to-be-built plants, which will be addressed in separate rules from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 
The first of those proposals, on new power plants, has been sent to the White House budget office for a review and is scheduled to be released to the public by September 20. 
Menu labels
The Food and Drug Administration is finalizing rules requiring that calorie information be posted on menus at chain restaurants and fast food joints, as well as on vending machines. 
The new requirements, called for under the healthcare law, would require that calorie counts be visible on restaurant menus and on signs near vending machines.  
Restaurants with 20 or more locations operating under the same name and selling the same items will be covered by the regulations. The administration is expected to finalize the rules in September. 
Home care workers
People who help the elderly and patients with disabilities manage their daily lives will be entitled to a minimum wage salary and overtime pay under a long-delayed rule expected from the Labor Department.
The effort to extend benefits to the nation’s nearly 2.5 million in-home healthcare aides dates back to the Clinton administration and was given new life when Obama took office.
The expected rule would close a loophole in federal labor laws that exempted babysitters and people who spend time with their elderly neighbors from wage requirements. At the time the laws were written, the home care industry didn’t exist.
Labor unions have long pushed for the expansion of the law, and in June Vice President Biden personally vouched for their cause.
“Shouldn’t someone working 40 hours a week be able to make a wage that’s above the poverty level?” he said at the time.
The regulation was scheduled to be issued in July but has not yet been finished.

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