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Biden’s New Regulatory Playbook Targets Climate, Opioids (4)

June 21, 2022, 8:00 PMUpdated: June 22, 2022, 2:30 PM

President Joe Biden released his third regulatory to-do list Tuesday, detailing his ambitions to regulate consumer data use, treat opioid addiction, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The list, which includes more than 2,650 items, is the third of Biden’s presidency. It offers a window into how the administration plans to use federal agencies in the coming months to advance its priorities. Its impact potentially ripples from multinational corporations to local agencies and average citizens.

Tuesday’s list, for instance, includes rules to make appliances such as refrigerators and furnaces more efficient as the US faces rising energy prices. It also incorporates a proposal, to be released in September, that would let doctors use virtual visits to prescribe treatment for patients with an opioid addiction.

The list isn’t final. Agencies will have to complete a number of tasks before the policies take effect, including drafting rules and collecting feedback. The White House regulations office will sign off on each rule before it is published.

That office now lacks a permanent leader. No president, let alone one as determined as Biden to make policy through regulation, has taken as long to nominate someone to run the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs since the position began requiring Senate confirmation in the late 1980s, according to Senate records.

Biden initially installed Obama-era labor official Sharon Block as the office’s interim political leader. Block left that position in February. Dominic Mancini, a career OIRA official, is the office‘s interim leader.

Below are highlights from the agenda:

Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission will begin writing rules as soon as this month that would limit how companies collect and use consumer data while setting standards for how such data must be secured.

Homeland Security

The Transportation Security Administration could use swifter enforcement procedures against some gun-toting travelers under a new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security. The proposed enforcement change comes as TSA encounters record numbers of travelers with firearms and other prohibited items at airport checkpoints.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in August plans to finalize deportation protections for roughly 636,000 undocumented young people who were brought to the US as children.

The agency, which is entirely fee-funded, also plans in September to update the cost of a visa for the first time since a California judge blocked the Trump administration’s price in 2020.

Justice

The Justice Department anticipates proposing in September an update to regulations requiring disclosure of US lobbying activity conducted on behalf of foreign interests, after an enforcement uptick in recent years. The initiative is drawing widespread interest from Big Law, humanitarian nonprofits, and free-speech groups.

Environment

By the end of the year, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to propose two new chemical rules that would increase its oversight of more than 20 chemicals widely used by hundreds of manufacturers to make adhesives, coatings, plastic products, and other goods.

Labor

The Labor Department plans to release in October an update to overtime regulations. The agency has been hosting public input meetings as it considers expanding time-and-a-half pay protections to more workers.

It also plans to finalize by December its proposed update to rules that determine how contractors are paid when working on federally funded construction projects.

Health

The Food and Drug administration plans to propose limits by May 2023 to the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. The move was first reported by the Washington Post.

(Adds labor regulations. )

Andrea Vittorio in Washington, Ellen M. Gilmer in Washington, Pat Rizzuto in Washington, Ben Penn in Washington and Andrew Kreighbaum in Washington also contributed to this story.

To contact the reporter on this story: Courtney Rozen in Washington at crozen@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bernie Kohn at bkohn@bloomberglaw.com; Andrew Childers at achilders@bloomberglaw.com