Public Policy

  • July 24, 2014

    $1B Boston Convention Center Bill Awaits Governor's Nod

    Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is still reviewing a measure authorizing a $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center that state lawmakers approved and sent to him Wednesday.

  • July 24, 2014

    House Panel OKs Republican-Led ACA Suit Against Obama

    A resolution that would authorize the U.S. House of Representatives to sue President Barack Obama over the delay of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate moved one step closer to a vote Thursday, when the House Rules Committee approved it for full House review.

  • July 24, 2014

    House Reps. Press For Change After Ackman Allergan Bid

    A member of the House Financial Services Committee said Thursday that he may take legislative action if the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission doesn't take steps to prohibit an unusual bidder-hedge fund partnership pioneered earlier this year by famed activist Bill Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.

  • July 24, 2014

    New Loan Accounting Rules For Non-US Banks Unveiled

    Non-U.S. banks and lenders will be subject to a new model for classifying financial assets and liabilities and will have to account for expected credit losses in a more timely manner under new finance accounting rules finalized by the U.K.-based International Accounting Standards Board on Thursday.

  • July 24, 2014

    White House Launches $10B Rural Infrastructure Fund

    The White House Rural Council launched a $10 billion investment fund Thursday that aims to pull private equity, pension funds and other institutional investors into U.S. rural infrastructure projects, including improvements to hospitals, schools, broadband, energy and regional food and water systems.

  • July 24, 2014

    McCain Proposes Slashing Tax Rate In Bring Jobs Home Act

    U.S. Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, on Wednesday filed an amendment to the so-called Bring Jobs Home Act, proposing to lower the effective corporate tax rate from 35 to 8.75 percent for companies who want to return to the U.S. and increase penalties for outsourcers.

  • July 24, 2014

    Cuomo Wants Tipped Workers To Benefit From Min. Wage Raise

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday kicked off a review of state wage law to determine if waiters and other tipped workers require new protections in order for their minimum pay to fall in line with recent moves to raise the minimum wage for other hourly workers.

  • July 24, 2014

    Chamber Chief Urges US, Korea To Goose Trade Pact Execution

    The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Thursday warned that certain aspects of the bilateral free trade agreement between the U.S. and South Korea are not proceeding as quickly as the business community would like, urging both governments to bolster their efforts to fully implement the pact.

  • July 24, 2014

    Boeing Secures Airplane Parts Deal With Iran

    The Boeing Co. revealed on Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with members of Iran's civil aviation industry to provide them with airplane parts, navigation charts and other services, marking the first potential deal between a U.S. aerospace company and the country in more than three decades.

  • July 24, 2014

    FDA Accepts First Biosimilar Application From Novartis Unit

    Novartis AG unit Sandoz Inc. announced Thursday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing its request to market a biosimilar version of Amgen Inc.'s Neupogen, a milestone that marks the first publicly disclosed application along an Affordable Care Act approval pathway.

  • July 23, 2014

    ACA Nets $4.3B In Consumer Health-Premium Savings: HHS

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that consumers saved $4.3 billion on health insurance premiums last year, thanks to an Affordable Care Act provision limiting how much insurance companies can spend on overhead costs.

  • July 23, 2014

    Miami Beach Bans Styrofoam Food Containers

    The city of Miami Beach, Florida, on Wednesday outlawed styrofoam food containers in all city facilities, including parks and beaches, as well as at sidewalk cafes, becoming the first municipality in the state to pass such a ban.

  • July 23, 2014

    FTC Commissioner Calls For Balanced Approach To 'Big Data'

    Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen urged her colleagues to take a “humble regulatory approach” to tackling the privacy concerns raised by the aggregation and analysis of large data sets that takes into account both the benefits and the risks of big data initiatives.

  • July 23, 2014

    SEC Wins Few Friends With Money Market Fund Rules

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission took significant action on Wednesday when it narrowly passed contentious and complex new rules around money market funds, but in the process its efforts seemed to please no one and possibly opened the door for critics to mount a legal challenge.

  • July 23, 2014

    Senate Commerce Chair Targets 'Callous' Cruise Industry

    Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., slammed the cruise industry Wednesday for its “shocking callousness and disregard” when things go wrong at sea, urging colleagues to support his bill to provide greater protections for cruise passengers.

  • July 23, 2014

    ACA Birth Control Mandate To Get New Opt-Out Process

    The Obama administration won cautious praise on Wednesday from its legal adversaries in litigation over the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate after disclosing that it will alter an opt-out process that religious nonprofits say makes them complicit in immoral activities.

  • July 23, 2014

    O'Malia's Move To ISDA Stokes Revolving-Door Debate

    Two days after announcing his resignation from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Scott O'Malia said he would be picking up immediately as CEO of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, prompting a public outcry over perceived conflicts of interest between the agency and the lobbying group and resurfacing old concerns about the industry's revolving door.

  • July 23, 2014

    USPTO Defends Inter Partes Reviews As Constitutional

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office fired back Wednesday in Virginia federal court at a suit by a patent licensing company and an inventor claiming that the USPTO's inter partes review process is unconstitutional, by arguing that the process meets constitutional muster and that the Federal Circuit has rejected two similar suits.

  • July 23, 2014

    Proposed IRS Budget Cuts Could Jeopardize US Tax System

    Republican lawmakers irate over allegations the Internal Revenue Service illegally scrutinized conservative groups' tax-exempt applications recently pushed legislation through the House of Representatives to lop nearly $1.5 billion from the agency's budget, drawing criticism from attorneys who say the move spites Congress as well as the IRS.

  • July 23, 2014

    10th Circ. Won't Rehear Colo. Taxpayer Bill Of Rights Suit

    A divided Tenth Circuit decided against rehearing a lawsuit brought by Colorado legislators and educators challenging the constitutionality of the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, enabling the suit against the governor to proceed, but not without sharp dissent.

Expert Analysis

  • Prosecutions Loom Large In China's Food Regulatory Regime

    John Balzano

    Most ominous in China's draft Food Safety Law is the pledge to strengthen the "link" between food safety regulation and criminal penalties, indicating criminal prosecutions could likely continue increasing once the law is adopted, say attorneys at Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Speculating Wyden's Tax Reform Priorities

    Mary Burke Baker

    The tax reform measures that Sen. Ron Wyden has previously introduced provide the best insights into how he may approach tax reform as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee — and past measures signal a sharp reduction in the corporate top rate, curtailment of "loopholes" and major changes for energy tax breaks, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.

  • Established Employment Rules Are Not Safe From The NLRB

    Shannon M. Gibson

    Terms and conditions of employment long considered settled by employers can now no longer be taken for granted as not running afoul of the National Labor Relations Act as the National Labor Relations Board continues its dramatic outreach campaign to workers, say William Miossi and Shannon Gibson of Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • Employers May Have Opportunity In ACA Legislative Flaw

    Robert C. Christenson

    Employers still on the fence in terms of providing qualifying health care coverage for their employees see new hope in the D.C. Circuit's ruling in Jacqueline Halbig v. Burwell because the case points to a possible legislative flaw that would exempt employers in 36 of the 50 states from the "pay-or-play" tax that underlies the Affordable Care Act, says Robert Christenson of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • FTC Report's Impact May Not Be Limited To Data Brokers

    Phyllis B. Sumner

    In calling for greater transparency among data brokers in their collection practices, a recently issued report from the Federal Trade Commission will likely push the agency to scrutinize organizations that use the services of or share information with data brokers in order to accurately and fully disclose such practices, say attorneys at King & Spalding LLP.

  • Wind River Reservation May Shape Tribal CAA Jurisdiction

    Bart J. Freedman

    Public and private entities, including the state of Wyoming, have raised an issue of first impression as to whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to determine an Indian reservation's boundaries under the Clean Air Act — the result could lead to a departure from established regulatory principles and should be of interest to entities operating on or near reservations, say attorneys at K&L Gates LLP.

  • Costs And Benefits Of Opting Out Of Texas' Workers' Comp

    Janet A. Hendrick

    Because Texas' workers' compensation is a "no fault" program, employees of subscribers are rarely allowed to sue their employer for damages in connection with work-related injuries, however employees of nonsubscribing employees may bring negligence and related claims as a result of on-the-job injuries, says Janet Hendrick of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • OPINION: CFPB Should Not Weaponize Consumer Complaints

    Brett M. Kitt

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's cavalier attitude toward the privacy risks associated with publishing consumer complaint narratives in their raw form is particularly troublesome given that, in a prior policy statement, it committed to refrain from doing so without a proper study, says Brett Kitt, of counsel with Greenberg Traurig LLP and former senior counsel for the CFPB.

  • Inside The Proposed DFARS Business Systems Rule

    Susan Booth Cassidy

    The U.S. Department of Defense proposal to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement does not address the ambiguities and risks inherent in the current rules governing business systems compliance, but it does create a new dynamic among contractors, their private auditors, and the government, say attorneys at Covington & Burling LLP.

  • The Promise And Problem Of Genomic Marketing

    Ivan J. Wasserman

    Genomic scientific advances have brought the promise of "personalized medicines" to consumers, creating opportunities for marketers that have in turn brought the attention of the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, say Ivan Wasserman and La Toya Sutton of Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP.