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Government shutdown worst-case scenario realized: Salmonella outbreak (10/8/13)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is operating with about one-third of its staff on the job during the shutdown, confirmed Tuesday that it has now brought back 30 furloughed employees in its foodborne division to help handle the outbreak, which has sickened 278 people in 18 states. Unlike... Read more...

Shutdown furloughs about to hit nuclear safety agency (10/8/13)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday it expects to furlough some 3,600 employees at the close of business on Thursday if Republicans and Democrats in Congress still have not resolved their impasse over federal spending. The 300 essential personnel who would stay on include about 150 so-called "resident inspectors." Read more...

Chemical agency warns it has ‘no ability’ to respond if disaster strikes (10/8/13)

The chairman of the federal Chemical Safety Board warned Tuesday that the agency would be unable to respond to a major disaster, thanks to a lingering government shutdown that has forced the furlough of more than 90 percent of its workers. The board has suspended its investigation of April’s deadly blast... Read more...

The Government Shutdown Trickle-Down: 50 Effects Of The Budget Standstill (10/8/13)

A week after Congress failed to agree to fund the operation of the government, the impacts of the shutdown are starting to trickle down. No longer is the story being told in numbers (workers furloughed, budgets cuts, jobs at risk). Increasingly, it's being told with people's angst, frustration and weariness. Businesses... Read more...

Govt health and safety efforts slowed or halted (10/8/13)

The government shutdown has slowed or halted federal efforts to protect Americans' health and safety, from probes into the cause of transportation and workplace accidents to tracking the flu. Read more...

Can miners afford for MSHA to miss inspections? (10/8/13)

We may not know yet exactly why and how these three coal miners — Roger R. King, Robert Smith, Chris Stassinos — died, and whether the government shutdown was one of the causes. But given what we do know about the dangers of the mining industry, the history of the... Read more...

Nuclear regulator prepares for furloughs (10/7/13)

Like some other agencies, the NRC has been using some leftover money, which it calls the “no-year” fund, to keep workers on the job while the rest of the government has shut down. That money will run out after Thursday, though, an agency spokesman told The Hill. Read more...

There’s a Major Foodborne Illness Outbreak and the Government’s Shut Down (10/7/13)

While the government is shut down, with food-safety personnel and disease detectives sent home and forbidden to work, a major foodborne-illness outbreak has begun. This evening, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture announced that “an estimated 278 illnesses … reported in 18 states” have... Read more...

Federal shutdown vexes greens, pleases industry (10/7/13)

“The government shutdown we now face means no cops on the beat against toxic pollution. It means that we’ll have to dress like oil executives if we want to visit our national parks and monuments,” Sierra Club President Michael Brune said in a statement earlier this week. Read more...

Shutdown means no new regs on Tuesday (10/7/13)

There will be no new regulations, just a small number of public notices about permit applications that have been filed, upcoming public meetings and other administrative notifications. Read more...

Chemicals from coal ash leaching into groundwater near Flemington community (10/6/13)

Two wells were drilled just a half mile from the power plant, where arsenic, boron and other poisons are leaching from unlined coal-ash ponds into area groundwater supplies. The contaminated water plume is slowly creeping toward the new wells, turning Flemington residents once again into sitting ducks. Read more...

Government shutdown halts FDA food inspections. Should you worry? (10/4/13)

The FDA will maintain certain emergency services during the shutdown, including managing high-risk food recalls and other “critical public health issues,” per the memo. But the lack of routine health inspections, and the management oversight of more routine food supply hiccups that the FDA deals with on a day-to-day basis... Read more...

Kids feel pain of government shutdown (10/3/13)

The federal shutdown has forced pre-kindergarten classes to close. Patients with incurable diseases have been turned away from a federal hospital. Millions of America's poorest children are at risk of losing baby formula and healthy meals provided by federal programs. Read more...

A Blind Spot on Rearview Cameras (10/3/13)

The delays are political, not the result of procedural or technological problems. The rearview rule is one of many held up by the federal budget office during the election campaign in 2012; the new deadline for the rule would delay it beyond the 2014 midterm elections. The unavoidable conclusion is... Read more...

Dems prod SEC on corporate giving rule (10/2/13)

The Securities and Exchange Commission should move forward with regulations requiring publicly traded firms to disclose their political spending to shareholders, a pair of Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee said Wednesday. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are seeking to ramp up pressure on the agency as it... Read more...

One Nation Under Shutdown: Here's How Congress Is Hurting Your State (10/2/13)

In an effort to understand the totality of the damage being inflicted by the government shutdown, The Huffington Post solicited reader feedback and surveyed hundreds of local news outlets in all 50 states. Read more...

The nine most painful impacts of a government shutdown (10/2/13)

The biggest disruptions are less visible — the workers going without pay, the patients turned away from research clinics, and so on. Read more...

Government shutdown stresses food inspections (10/2/13)

Federal meat safety inspectors might still have their jobs on Day Two of the government shutdown — keeping steaks, hamburgers, turkey and chicken safe for human consumption — but what about the rest of the food on our plates? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, responsible for 80 percent of the... Read more...

U.S. consumer watchdog says 2009 law reduced credit card fees (10/1/13)

The total cost of credit card fees and interest payments to U.S. consumers fell and charges for going over allowable credit limits effectively disappeared after a 2009 law cracked down on the market, according to a report released on Wednesday. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's first report on the so-called... Read more...

20 Years of 12866 (9/30/13)

With Executive Order 12866, President Clinton at least addressed the concerns related to process. He imposed deadlines on OIRA review – 90 days in most cases, with a 30-day extension if the agency and OMB agreed to it. He required transparency throughout the OIRA process. Unfortunately, however, these aspects of Executive... Read more...

Shutdown would choke flow of federal regulations (9/30/13)

New regulations will still be issued on Tuesday if the federal government shuts down at midnight, but the administration's rulemaking would slow considerably in the days ahead. Regulations already set for printing in the Federal Register, where the executive branch logs all of its regulatory action, would go ahead, but after... Read more...

SEC making a ‘subtle shift’ in its pursuit of individuals (9/27/13)

Wall Street’s top cop said Thursday that her agency is sharpening its focus on individual wrongdoers and making a “subtle shift” in the way it pursues them. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White said she has asked her enforcement staff to start probes, when possible, by first taking a... Read more...

Climate Panel Says Upper Limit on Emissions Is Nearing (9/27/13)

For the first time, the world’s top climate scientists on Friday formally embraced an upper limit on greenhouse gases while warning that it is likely to be exceeded within decades if emissions continue at a brisk pace, underscoring the profound challenge humanity faces in bringing global warming under control. Going well... Read more...

Squabble over new poultry inspection rules intensifies (9/26/13)

Food and worker safety advocates staged a rally Thursday at the White House to oppose the Obama administration’s plan to pull inspectors from poultry plants, escalating a dispute between the Obama administration and public interest groups. A man in a chicken suit covered with labels reading “feces,” “pus” and “salmonella”... Read more...

Colo. farmers arrested in listeria outbreak that killed 33 (9/26/13)

Two brothers who owned and operated a cantaloupe farm directly linked to a listeria outbreak that killed 33 people pleaded not guilty Thursday to criminal charges stemming from the incidents. Eric and Ryan Jensen, ages 37 and 33, of the now-bankrupt Jensen Farms were arrested Thursday and each charged with six... Read more...

More Sway for F.D.A. Is Object of New Bill (9/26/13)

A bipartisan committee of lawmakers from the Senate and the House reached a compromise on Wednesday on legislation that would give the Food and Drug Administration greater control over compounding pharmacies. But analysts said it was still unclear whether the law would actually make drugs safer. Read more...

Regulators prepare to be ‘handcuffed’ in shutdown (9/25/13)

“Under a shutdown scenario, government regulators will be handcuffed in our ability to go after crooks who are trying to evade our oversight and protection of markets. You can bet the ‘do-badders’ are licking their chops,” Bart Chilton, a commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), said in a... Read more...

Rear-view cameras law needs to be acted on (9/25/13)

Five years after my son Cameron died in a car crash, Congress passed a law, named after my boy, to ensure that such a tragedy never happened again. But five more years have passed, and the safety fix that Congress ordered completed by 2011 has been needlessly delayed. I’m suing... Read more...

Regulator Sues Over Bad Deals That Put Credit Unions Out Of Business (9/24/13)

The regulator that oversees credit unions is alleging in court that the world’s largest banks helped doom several community financial cooperatives. The National Credit Union Association (NCUA) filed a flurry of 22 lawsuits on Monday against banks and financial companies including JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, UBS, Goldman Sachs,... Read more...

How can this happen? Lives are shattered by accidental backovers while legislation languishes (9/22/13)

Days after the missed January deadline, a father in California backed over his 1-year-old daughter before church. In February, a Dallas mom reversed her Suburban over her 4-year-old son as he bent down to pick up a box. Dozens died as spring stretched into summer. In September, a father accidentally... Read more...

Social costs of electricity from coal make it uneconomical, researchers assert (9/19/13)

New research from a national environmental group finds that the cost of producing electricity from renewable resources like wind and solar is lower than that of conventional coal-fired generation when factoring for the adverse costs of climate change and human health impacts. Read more...

OMB asks agencies to prepare for shutdown (9/18/13)

The White House Office of Management and Budget is asking federal agencies to prepare for the possibility of a government shutdown at the end of the month. Read more...

CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratio Disclosure Proposal Issued by SEC (9/18/13)

A divided U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will propose that public companies disclose how much more their chief executives earn than rank-and-file workers. SEC commissioners meeting in Washington today will vote to propose and seek comment on a requirement that has been opposed by the agency’s two Republican members and more... Read more...

EPA Restarts Stalled Drive to Improve Water Protection (9/17/13)

The Environmental Protection Agency restarted efforts to expand and clarify federal oversight of streams and waterways, after a previous drive provoked a backlash from representatives of farmers and home builders. The agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today submitted a proposal to the White House that would establish... Read more...

Leslie Caldwell Is Obama's Nominee To Head DOJ's Criminal Division (9/17/13)

President Barack Obama has nominated the former head of the Justice Department's Enron Task Force to head DOJ's Criminal Division. Leslie Caldwell, now a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, would replace former Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, who departed in March. Read more...

U.S. to Include Home Care Aides in Wage and Overtime Law (9/17/13)

The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that it was extending minimum wage and overtime protections to the nation’s nearly two million home care workers. Read more...

U.S.-European Trade Talks Inch Ahead Amid Flurry of Corporate Wish Lists (9/13/13)

Yum Brands, the owner of KFC, wants cheaper chicken wings, rumps and other assorted poultry parts. Ocean Spray wants an easing of pesticide regulations. DuPont wants greater protection of trade secrets. Negotiations have barely begun for a potentially sweeping trade pact between the United States and Europe. But the lobbying is... Read more...

Gillibrand introduces legislation to preserve staffing levels for USDA inspectors (9/13/13)

Food safety legislation was introduced Thursday in the Senate that seeks to preserve current staffing levels of USDA inspectors in meat plants at the same time the agency promotes a new model that would cut the federal inspection force by as much as half. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), the bill's sponsor,... Read more...

Editorial: Mismanagement and Death in a Coal Mine (9/13/13)

For the sake of coal miners’ lives and livelihood, it is heartening that the federal investigation into the West Virginia disaster that killed 29 men in 2010 continues forward. It gained momentum this week when a former executive with Massey Energy, which ran the Upper Big Branch mine at the... Read more...

Ex-SEC chief now helps companies navigate post-meltdown reforms (9/12/13)

Many former regulators are cashing in on their experience — helping companies navigate reforms made after the crisis, writing books on their experiences, making a killing on the speaking circuit — or have retired quietly. Read more...

Labor Department to delay controversial investment adviser rule (9/11/13)

The Obama administration is pushing back a rule that would put limits on investment advisers who work with retirement plans to eliminate conflicts of interest. Lawmakers have also been concerned about a potential overlap between the Labor Department regulation and other rules under consideration at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Read more...

Invasive Tactic in Foreclosures Draws Scrutiny (9/10/13)

Faced with more than 10 million foreclosures that have piled up since the start of the mortgage crisis, the nation’s largest banks are turning behind the scenes to property management firms, with the Ohio-based Safeguard the largest, to help them navigate the wreckage, determine the occupancy of the troubled properties... Read more...

Pressure mounts on USDA to scrap poultry inspection regs (9/9/13)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture faces mounting pressure to drop plans to overhaul federal inspection regulations at the nation’s poultry plants. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a Washington-based nonprofit, is the latest public interest group to call on the agency to scrap a proposed rule that... Read more...

CFTC signals it may tighten rules on high-speed trading (9/9/13)

Federal regulators signaled on Monday that they may more strictly oversee the high-speed trading that’s come to dominate financial markets and impose risk controls in response to a series of market-disrupting technology glitches. The 137-page “concept release” from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission comes at a time when regulators are struggling... Read more...

USDA pilot program fails to stop contaminated meat (9/9/13)

A meat inspection program that the Agriculture Department plans to roll out in pork plants nationwide has repeatedly failed to stop the production of contaminated meat at American and foreign plants that have already adopted the approach, documents and interviews show. Read more...

Inside the End of the U.S. Bid to Punish Lehman Executives (9/9/13)

Five years after Lehman’s collapse hastened a worldwide economic panic, the government faces lingering questions about the decision to spare executives like Richard S. Fuld Jr., who ran Lehman for 14 years until its demise. Not a single senior executive from any Wall Street bank faced criminal charges from the... Read more...

In new battleground over toxic reform, American Chemistry Council targets the states (9/9/13)

In the bare-knuckle war over toxic chemicals, the fight between industry and activists has shifted noticeably from Washington, D.C., to state venues such as the golden-domed Capitol that rises over Hartford like a lordly manse. What happened this year in Hartford shows how industry — fueled by the American Chemistry Council,... Read more...

EPA Quietly Withdraws Two Proposed Chemical Safety Rules (9/6/13)

The Environmental Protection Agency this week quietly withdrew two draft rules dealing with the regulation of chemicals. The potential rules were in limbo at the Office of Management for several years. Read more...

Rockefeller pushes Obama administration to finalize black lung rule (9/6/13)

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., on Thursday gathered black lung victims and miners' health advocates to continue a push for the Obama administration to finalize a rule aimed at ending the deadly diseases. Rockefeller said that on Wednesday night he called the White House Office of Management and Budget to urge officials... Read more...

Consumer groups urge administration to complete airline passenger protection rules (9/5/13)

A coalition of consumer groups is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to finalize rules for protecting airline passengers from hidden fees. The letter was signed by the Consumer Travel Alliance, Consumer Federation of America, National Consumers League, Consumers Union, Business Travel Coalition,... Read more...

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